Minimally invasive presacral approach for revision of an Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion rod due to fall-related lumbosacral instability: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2011 Sep 29;5:488. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-5-488.


Introduction: The purpose of this study was to describe procedural details of a minimally invasive presacral approach for revision of an L5-S1 Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion rod.

Case presentation: A 70-year-old Caucasian man presented to our facility with marked thoracolumbar scoliosis, osteoarthritic changes characterized by high-grade osteophytes, and significant intervertebral disc collapse and calcification. Our patient required crutches during ambulation and reported intractable axial and radicular pain. Multi-level reconstruction of L1-4 was accomplished with extreme lateral interbody fusion, although focal lumbosacral symptoms persisted due to disc space collapse at L5-S1.Lumbosacral interbody distraction and stabilization was achieved four weeks later with the Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion System (TranS1 Inc., Wilmington, NC, USA) and rod implantation via an axial presacral approach.Despite symptom resolution following this procedure, our patient suffered a fall six weeks postoperatively with direct sacral impaction resulting in symptom recurrence and loss of L5-S1 distraction. Following seven months of unsuccessful conservative care, a revision of the Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion rod was performed that utilized the same presacral approach and used a larger diameter implant. Minimal adhesions were encountered upon presacral re-entry. A precise operative trajectory to the base of the previously implanted rod was achieved using fluoroscopic guidance. Surgical removal of the implant was successful with minimal bone resection required. A larger diameter Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion rod was then implanted and joint distraction was re-established. The radicular symptoms resolved following revision surgery and our patient was ambulating without assistance on post-operative day one. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: The Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion distraction rod may be revised and replaced with a larger diameter rod using the same presacral approach.