Background context: Although posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) for degenerative lumbar diseases is routine, there are few reports on double-level PLIF.
Purpose: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of double-level PLIF.
Study design/setting: A retrospective study of operated cases in Gifu, Japan.
Patient sample: Nineteen patients (8 men and 11 women, 59.5+/-10.2 years) who underwent double-level PLIF between 1996 and 2001.
Outcome measures: Operation time, blood loss, complications, the Japanese Orthopaedic Association (JOA) score for back pain and lumbar sagittal alignment were evaluated.
Methods: Patients were examined retrospectively at follow-ups of 3.6+/-1.7 years. Primary diseases were spondylolisthesis, spinal canal stenosis, degenerative scoliosis and herniated intervertebral disc. Fusion areas were L3 to L5 in 15 cases and L4 to S1 in 4 cases.
Results: The mean JOA score increased from an initial score of 12.9+/-3.5 to 21.3+/-4.9 at the final follow-up. There was a positive correlation (R=0.718, p<.001) between the increase in lordotic angle and the increase in the JOA score. Several parameters suggested that the surgical invasiveness was not minimal.
Conclusion: Double-level PLIF provided satisfactory results and preserved lumbar spine lordosis.