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Clinical benefits of minimally invasive spinal fusion appear to “diminish” as a function of fusion length

By Admin | November 13, 2018

Lafage pointed to sources that examined single-level minimally invasive lumbar interbody fusion, all of which concluded that single-level fusion was beneficial in terms of reduced blood loss, morbidity and preservation of soft tissue, in comparison to open fusion. Additionally, she presented sources suggesting that multi-level minimally invasive fusion resulted in shorter length of stay and decreased post-operative pain compared to open fusion, however the procedures were limited to one- or two-level fusions.

According to Lafage, the relationship between the number of levels fused and clinical outcome in patients undergoing an open and minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedure is somewhat unexplored. For instance, little work has been done to investigate minimally invasive outcomes as a function of fusion length, especially in multi-level fusions.

To address this gap in the literature, Lafage and colleagues aimed to compare the outcomes of open versus minimally invasive surgical techniques in lumbar fusion procedures as a function of the number of levels fused. A total of 440 patients undergoing no more than four level lumbar interbody fusion were examined; with 62% undergoing open fusion (157 patients underwent one-level fusion, 56 patients underwent two-level and 35 patients had three or four levels), and 38% undergoing minimally invasive fusion (122 patients had one-level, 36 patients two-level and eight patients had three or more).

For more information on this, please read, Clinical benefits of minimally invasive spinal fusion appear to “diminish” as a function of fusion length, by Spinal News International. 

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