Surgeons from the Instituto de Patologia da Coluna in Sao Paulo, Brazil have found that an innovative minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to achieve two-level axial lumbar interbody fusion produced immediate successful results, but within 2 years complications set in, making the procedure far less desirable. Findings of this study are reported in the article "Results and complications after 2-level axial lumbar interbody fusion with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Clinical article," by Luis Marchi, Leonardo Oliveira, Etevaldo Coutinho, M.D., and Luiz Pimenta, M.D., Ph.D., published this week online in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine.
The report stems from a prospective, nonrandomized single-center study of 27 patients who underwent presacral axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF [TranS1, Inc.]) surgery at two levels: L4-5 and L5-S1. Surgery was performed to correct symptomatic lumbosacral degenerative disc disease, degenerative low-grade spondylolisthesis, or failed-back surgery syndrome. The patients suffered from low-back pain, radicular leg pain, or both. Outcomes of the procedures were assessed on the basis of imaging studies (radiographs and CT scans) and patient-reported questionnaires (assessments based on applying a visual analog pain scale and the Oswestry Disability Index).
No intraoperative complications were related to the surgical approach. Significant clinical improvement was apparent following surgery. By the 2-year follow-up, patients reported a 50% reduction in back pain and a 40% reduction in disability.