The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical results of revision interbody fusion surgery between lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with propensity score (PS) adjustments and to investigate the efficacy of indirect decompression with LLIF in previously decompressed segments on the basis of radiological assessment.
A retrospective study of patients who underwent revision surgery for recurrence of neurological symptoms after posterior decompression surgery was performed. Postoperative complications and operative factors were evaluated and compared between LLIF and PLIF/TLIF. Moreover, postoperative improvement in cross-sectional areas (CSAs) in the spinal canal and intervertebral foramen was evaluated in LLIF cases.
A total of 56 patients (21 and 35 cases of LLIF and PLIF/TLIF, respectively) were included. In the univariate analysis, the LLIF group had significantly more endplate injuries (p = 0.03) and neurological deficits (p = 0.042), whereas the PLIF/TLIF group demonstrated significantly more dural tears (p < 0.001), surgical site infections (SSIs) (p = 0.02), and estimated blood loss (EBL) (p < 0.001). After PS adjustments, the LLIF group still showed significantly more endplate injuries (p = 0.03), and the PLIF/TLIF group demonstrated significantly more dural tears (p < 0.001), EBL (p < 0.001), and operating time (p = 0.04). The PLIF/TLIF group showed a trend toward a higher incidence of SSI (p = 0.10). There was no statistically significant difference regarding improvement in the Japanese Orthopaedic Association scores between the 2 surgical procedures (p = 0.77). The CSAs in the spinal canal and foramen were both significantly improved (p < 0.001).
LLIF is a safe, effective, and less invasive procedure with acceptable complication rates for revision surgery for previously decompressed segments. Therefore, LLIF can be an alternative to PLIF/TLIF for restenosis after posterior decompression surgery.