Article Abstract

Biomechanical evaluation of interbody fixation with secondary augmentation: lateral lumbar interbody fusion versus posterior lumbar interbody fusion

Authors: Jakub Godzik, Samuel Kalb, Marco T. Reis, Phillip M. Reyes, Vaneet Singh, Anna G. U. S. Newcomb, Steve W. Chang, Brian P. Kelly, Neil R. Crawford


Background: Many approaches to the lumbar spine have been developed for interbody fusion. The biomechanical profile of each interbody fusion device is determined by the anatomical approach and the type of supplemental internal fixation. Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) was developed as a minimally invasive technique for introducing hardware with higher profiles and wider widths, compared with that for the posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) approach. However, the biomechanics of the interbody fusion construct used in the LLIF approach have not been rigorously evaluated, especially in the presence of secondary augmentation.
Methods: Spinal stability of 21 cadaveric lumbar specimens was compared using standard nondestructive flexibility studies [mean range of motion (ROM), lax zone (LZ), stiff zone (SZ) in flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation]. Non-paired comparisons were made among four conditions: (I) intact; (II) with unilateral interbody + bilateral pedicle screws (BPS) using the LLIF approach (referred to as the LLIF construct); (III) with bilateral interbody + BPS using the PLIF approach (referred to as the PLIF construct); and (IV) with no lumbar interbody fusion (LIF) + BPS (referred to as the no-LIF construct).
Results: With bilateral pedicle screw-rod fixation, stability was equivalent between PLIF and LLIF constructs in lateral bending and flexion-extension. PLIF and LLIF constructs had similar biomechanical profiles, with a trend toward less ROM in axial rotation for the LLIF construct.
Conclusions: LLIF and PLIF constructs had similar stabilizing effects.