Lumbar interbody fusion is an established and widely accepted procedure for degenerative spondylolisthesis. There are various fusion techniques and choosing one technique over the other remains controversial. Objective of our study was to review the long term functional and radiological outcome of traditional open transforaminal lumbar inter body fusion (TLIF) for this condition.
Design: Prospective cohort study.
Methods: This prospective study was conducted on 43 symptomatic adult degenerative spondylolisthesis patients, treated with traditional open TLIF and posterior instrumentation at a tertiary care centre with a mean age of 48.2years(range 26-59 year). Functional outcome and complications were assessed clinico-radiologically with a mean follow-up of 47.6 months (range18-65 months).
Results: 34 patients (80%) were rated excellent, 7 patients (15%) were rated good and 2 patients (5%) were rated poor based on the pre and postoperative questionnaire scores. Visual analogue scale (VAS) pain score improved from 7.7 preoperatively to 2.5 at the latest follow-up. Preoperative Oswestry disability index (ODI) averaged 33.8 and postoperatively improved to 63.7 out of 100. Radiographic bony fusion occurred in 41 patients (95%) at final follow-up. Retropulsion of the cage into spinal canal occurred in one patient and no other major complications happened.
Conclusion: Traditional open TLIF achieved excellent functional outcome and high fusion rate in our study at a long-term follow-up, which is comparable to any other fusion technique.