“One and a half” minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: single level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with adjacent segment unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression for spondylolisthesis with bisegmental stenosis

Christoph Wipplinger, Carolin Melcher, R. Nick Hernandez, Sara Lener, Rodrigo Navarro-Ramirez, Sertac Kirnaz, Franziska Anna Schmidt, Eliana Kim, Roger Härtl


Symptomatic lumbar spondylolisthesis is commonly accompanied by spinal stenosis in multiple segments. These pathologies are routinely treated by multilevel decompression and instrumented fusion. However, it was hypothesized that a minimally invasive surgery (MIS) fusion in the unstable segment combined with a unilateral laminotomy for bilateral decompression (ULBD) in the adjacent stenotic segment is a biomechanically feasible alternative to a two-level fusion and superior to open laminectomy adjacent to a fused segment. This concept has demonstrated success in a recently published biomechanical cadaver study performed by our group. The present article offers a detailed step by step technical description for an MIS-TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) with adjacent ULBD.