Study design: Case series.
Objective: To describe a minimally invasive surgical technique for treatment of lumbosacral spondylolisthesis.
Summary of background data: Traditional surgical management of lumbosacral spondylolisthesis is technically challenging and associated with significant complications. Minimally invasive surgical techniques offer patients treatment alternatives with lower operative morbidity risk. The combination of percutaneous pedicle screw reduction and an axial presacral approach for lumbosacral discectomy and fusion is an option for the surgical management of low-grade lumbosacral spondylolisthesis.
Methods: Twenty-six consecutive patients with symptomatic L5-S1 level isthmic spondylolisthesis (grade 1 or grade 2) underwent axial presacral lumbar interbody fusion and percutaneous posterior fixation. Study outcomes included visual analogue scale for axial pain severity, Odom criteria, and radiographic fusion.
Results: The procedure was successfully completed in all patients with no intraoperative complications reported. Intraoperative blood loss was minimal (range, 20-150 mL). Median hospital stay was 1 day (range, <1-2 d). Spondylolisthesis grade was improved after axial lumbar interbody fusion (P<0.001) with 50% (13 of 26) of patients showing a reduction of at least 1 grade. Axial pain severity improved from 8.1±1.4 at baseline to 2.8±2.3 after axial lumbar interbody fusion, representing a 66% reduction from baseline (95% confidence interval, 54.3%-77.9%). At 2-year posttreatment, all patients showed solid fusion. Using Odom criteria, 81% of patients were judged as excellent or good (16 excellent, 5 good, 3 fair, and 2 poor). There were no perioperative procedure-related complications including infection or bowel perforation. During postoperative follow-up, 4 patients required reintervention due to recurrent radicular (n=2) or screw-related (n=2) pain.
Conclusions: The minimally invasive presacral axial interbody fusion and posterior instrumentation technique is a safe and effective treatment for low-grade isthmic spondylolisthesis.