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Cureus. 2018 Oct 2;10(10):e3404. doi: 10.7759/cureus.3404.

Far-lateral Disc Herniation Treated by Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion without Complete Fragment Excision: A Case Report and Review of the Literature.

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Orthopaedics, Virginia Spine Institute, Reston, USA.
Orthopaedics, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, USA.
Orthopaedics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, USA.
Radiation Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, USA.
Orthopaedics, Washington Spine and Scoliosis Institute, Bethesda, USA.


Symptomatic far-lateral lumbar disc herniation is a less common causes of lumbar radiculopathy than paracentral or central disc herniation. Treatment of far-lateral disc herniation with a retroperitoneal, transpsoas approach and disc fragment excision has been described. However, treatment of far-lateral disc herniation using lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) without neural manipulation has not been described. We report one case in which symptom resolution was accomplished via indirect decompression with anterior column support via LLIF without disc fragment excision and review the current literature. The patient noted immediate relief of his preoperative leg pain in the recovery room and ambulation began the same day. Narcotics were effective in treating his incisional pain and mild back pain. The patient was seen two weeks postoperatively and he had stopped all narcotics. At six weeks, the patient continued to have significant improvement and was able to take hour-long walks. At five months, the patient did not have any pain and continued to have improvement in his left quadriceps strength. Minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion has allowed surgeons to provide both direct and indirect neural decompression through a retroperitoneal approach. This technique may be ideal for far-lateral disc herniation as it also allows a lateral visualization of the herniation without bony, posterior muscular, or ligamentous disruption.


far-lateral herniation; llif; lumbar fusion; xlif

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

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