Article Abstract

Decreased estimated blood loss in lateral trans-psoas versus anterior approach to lumbar interbody fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis

Authors: L. Henry Goodnough, Jayme Koltsov, Tianyi Wang, Grace Xiong, Karthik Nathan, Ivan Cheng


Background: The goal of the current study was to compare the perioperative and post-operative outcomes of eXtreme lateral trans-psoas approach (XLIF) versus anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for single level degenerative spondylolisthesis. The ideal approach for degenerative spondylolisthesis remains controversial.
Methods: Consecutive patients undergoing single level XLIF (n=21) or ALIF (n=54) for L4–5 degenerative spondylolisthesis between 2008–2012 from a single academic center were retrospectively reviewed. Groups were compared for peri-operative data (estimated blood loss, operative time, adjunct procedures or additional implants), radiographic measurements (L1–S1 cobb angle, disc height, fusion grade, subsidence), 30-day complications (infection, DVT/PE, weakness/paresthesia, etc.), and patient reported outcomes (leg and back Numerical Rating Scale, and Oswestry Disability Index).
Results: Estimated blood loss was significantly lower for XLIF [median 100; interquartile range (IQR), 50–100 mL] than for ALIF (median 250; IQR, 150–400 mL; P<0.001), including after adjusting for significantly higher rates of posterior decompression in the ALIF group. There were no significant differences in rates of complications within 30 days, radiographic outcomes, or in re-operation rates. Both groups experienced significant pain relief post-operatively.
Conclusions: The lateral trans-psoas approach is associated with diminished blood loss compared to the anterior approach in the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis. We were unable to detect differences in radiographic outcomes, complication rates, or patient reported outcomes. Continued efforts to directly compare approaches for specific indications will minimize complications and improve outcomes. Further studies will continue to define indications for lateral versus anterior approach to lumbar spine for degenerative spondylolisthesis.

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