Object: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of anterior polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) cement augmentation in instrumented anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for patients with osteoporosis.
Methods: Sixty-two patients with osteoporosis who had undergone single-level instrumented ALIF for spondylolisthesis and were followed for more than 2 years were included in the study. The patients were divided into 2 groups: instrumented ALIF alone (Group I) and instrumented ALIF with anterior PMMA augmentation (Group II). Sixty-one patients were interviewed to evaluate the clinical results, and plain radiographs and 3D CT scans were obtained at the last follow-up in 46 patients.
Results: The mean degree of cage subsidence was significantly higher in Group I (19.6%) than in Group II (5.2%) (p = 0.001). The mean decrease of vertebral body height at the index level was also significantly higher in Group I (10.7%) than in Group II (3.9%) (p = 0.001). No significant intergroup differences were observed in the incidence of radiographic adjacent-segment degeneration (ASD) or in terms of pain and functional improvement. The incidences of clinical ASD (23% in Group I and 10% in Group II) were not significantly different. There was 1 case of nonunion and 3 cases of screw migration in Group I, but none resulted in implant failure.
Conclusions: Anterior PMMA augmentation during instrumented ALIF in patients with osteoporosis was useful to prevent cage subsidence and vertebral body collapse. In addition, PMMA augmentation did not increase the nonunion rate and incidence of ASD.