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Rigshospitalet - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Clinical outcome of stand-alone ALIF compared to posterior instrumentation for degenerative disc disease: A pilot study and a literature review

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The objective of the article was to: a) present results from a case cohort pilot study comparing stand-alone ALIF and TLIF and, b) review the literature on studies comparing the clinical outcome of stand-alone ALIF with posterior instrumentation including TLIF or PLIF, in patients with disabling low back pain resulting from degenerative disc disease. ALIF surgery has previously been linked with certain high risk complications and unfavorable long term fusion results. Newer studies suggest that stand-alone ALIF can possibly be advantageous compared to other types of posterior instrumented interbody fusion for a selected group of DDD patients. The methods and material consisted of a cohort pilot study of patients, with DDD treated with stand-alone ALIF or TLIF followed by a literature review conducted through a comprehensive PubMed database search of the English literature. Studies comparing stand-alone ALIF with posterior instrumented interbody fusion were selected and reviewed. Results from the pilot study, n = 21, showed a reduced perioperative blood loss, shorter operative time and a trend towards better pain reduction and decreased use of opioid analgesics in patients undergoing stand-alone ALIF compared to posterior instrumented fusion with TLIF. The literature review included three studies, n = 630. All three studies were retrospective cohort studies. The average patient follow-up was 2-years but with heterogeneous selected outcomes. Two of three articles documented significant advantages when using stand-alone ALIF on outcomes such as ODI, VAS, surgical time, blood loss and patient satisfaction. No study found stand-alone ALIF inferior in chosen outcomes including fusion. In conclusion the pilot study and the literature review, finds similar clinical outcomes and fusion rates after stand-alone ALIF and posterior interbody fusion. Stand-alone ALIF was associated with a shorter duration of surgery, less perioperative blood loss and a faster improvement post-operatively. Therefore stand-alone ALIF is a viable and important surgical option, which could be considered first choice as surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Volume133
Pages (from-to)64-9
Number of pages6
ISSN0303-8467
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

    Research areas

  • Adult, Cohort Studies, Humans, Intervertebral Disc Degeneration, Lumbar Vertebrae, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Pilot Projects, Spinal Fusion

ID: 46292547