Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Degenerative Discogenic Low Back Pain: Evaluation of L4-S1 Fusion.Medicine (Baltimore). 2015 Oct; 94(43):e1851.M
The treatment of degenerative discogenic pain is controversial, and anterior lumbar fusion for the treatment of degenerative discogenic low back pain has also been a controversial topic for over a generation.The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the outcome of different anterior lumbar fusion levels for degenerative discogenic low back pain.In this study, we performed a clinical outcome subgroup analysis. The outcomes of 84 consecutive patients who underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion from 2004 to 2009 were reviewed. The operative time, intraoperative blood loss, hospital stay, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), visual analog scale (VAS) results, and complication rate were recorded separately.Medical indications were degenerative disc disease (73.8%), postdiscectomy disc disease (16.1%), and disc herniation (9.5%). Patients with severe spondylolysis or disc degeneration, with more than 3 or multilevel lesions, were excluded.The mean operative time was 124.5 ± 10.9 min (range 51-248 min), the mean intraoperative blood loss was 242.1 ± 27.7 mL (range 50-2700 mL), the mean hospital stay was 3.9 ± 1.1 days (range 3-6 days), the mean preoperative VAS score was 7.5 ± 1.4, and the mean preoperative ODI score was 60.0 ± 5.7. At the 1-year follow-up, the mean postoperative VAS score was 3.3 ± 1.3 and the mean postoperative ODI score was 13.6 ± 3.4 (P < 0.05). L4-L5 disc fusion led to better clinical results than 2-level L4-L5/L5-S1 disc fusion. Additionally, the 2-level fusion of L4-L5/L5-S1 had better clinical results than the L5-S1 disc fusion at both the 1 and 2-year postoperative follow-ups regarding the VAS score and the ODI score. The rate of complications was more frequent in the 2-level L4-L5/L5-S1 group (27.3%) (group C) than in the L4-L5 group (9.1%) (group A) and the L5-S1 group (12.5%) (group B). There was no difference between the L4-L5 group (9.1%) and the L5-S1 group (12.5%). A venous tear occurred during surgery and was successfully repaired in 6 of the 84 patients. Also, out of the 84 patients, 6 were found with pseudarthrosis during the follow-up, and these patients underwent a spinal fusion with instrumentation, with a posterior approach after a mean of 1 year. The complications secondary to the surgical approach were persistent abdominal pain (1/84, 1.2%) and wound dehiscence (1/84, 1.2%).Anterior lumbar interbody fusion for L4-L5 had better clinical results than the 2-segmental L4-L5/L5-S1 disc fusion, and the 2-segmental L4-L5/L5-S1 disc fusion had better clinical results than the L5-S1 disc fusion. Also, the 2-segmental L4-L5/L5-S1 disc fusion had a higher complication rate (27.3%), but there was no difference between the L4-L5 group (9.1%) and the L5-S1 group (12.5%).