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Cureus. 2017 Jun 25;9(6):e1389. doi: 10.7759/cureus.1389.

Minimally Invasive Scoliosis Surgery with Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Single Surgeon Feasibility Study.

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Tristate Brain and Spine Institute.
Minnesota Disc Replacement and Spine Restoration Center.
Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago Medicine.
Vascular and Interventional Radiology, Lake Region Healthcare.
Radiology, Lakes Regional Healthcare.



Degenerative deformities of the spine have traditionally been treated with extensive open surgeries. However, these open procedures are associated with a high degree of surgical morbidity. In this study, we explore whether clinical improvement in patients with spinal deformities can be achieved using a new minimally invasive surgery (MIS) called oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion (OLLIF). OLLIF is a MIS single surgeon procedure in which the disc is approached through Kambin's triangle. OLLIF can achieve correction of spinal deformities through careful cage placement.


The purpose of this study is to establish the safety and efficacy of using OLLIF to correct spinal deformities and to collect early outcome data. Collected data includes perioperative outcomes, patient reported outcomes, and radiographic outcomes.


This study is a retrospective review of 37 OLLIF surgeries in 36 patients with symptomatic degenerative spinal deformity. Collected perioperative data included surgery time, blood loss, and hospital stay. Follow-up was conducted at least 150 days post surgery. We recorded complications and patient reported outcomes such as Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and pain scale. Imaging was conducted pre- and post-surgery. Fusion rates and changes in Cobb angle were also measured.


A total of 37 surgeries that treated 100 vertebral levels were performed. For two and three level procedures, respectively, the mean blood loss was 83 and 178 ml, the average surgery time was 74 and 158 minutes and the average hospital stay was 2.6 and 3.3 days. The patients ambulated within 24 hours in all but two cases. The patients reported pain improvements on the ten-point pain scale from 8.3 to 3.7 (p<0.001) and on the ODI from 53% to 32%. Cobb angles decreased from 16° to 9.3° (p<0.001), amounting to 2.5° of correction per level of surgery. Detailed imaging was reviewed by independent radiologists for 24 cases and 100% interbody fusion was achieved along with 71% right posterolateral and 74% left posterolateral fusion. There were three cases of mild nerve irritation/neuropraxia and no infections.


OLLIF is a safe and effective MIS technique to correct adult degenerative scoliosis. Unlike alternative procedures, OLLIF is technically less complex than comparable procedures and can safely be used from the thoracolumbar junction to S1.


deformity surgery; interbody fusion; lumbar spine; minimally invasive surgery; oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion; operative surgical procedures; scoliosis; spinal fusion; spine surgery

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared financial relationships, which are detailed in the next section.

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