Minimally invasive surgery compared to open spinal fusion for the treatment of degenerative lumbar spine pathologies

J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Jun;19(6):829-35. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2011.10.004. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


This clinical study prospectively compares the results of open surgery to minimally invasive fusion for degenerative lumbar spine pathologies. Eighty-two patients were studied (41 minimally invasive surgery [MIS] spinal fusion, 41 open surgical equivalent) under a single surgeon (R. J. Mobbs). The two groups were compared using the Oswestry Disability Index, the Short Form-12 version 1, the Visual Analogue Scale score, the Patient Satisfaction Index, length of hospital stay, time to mobilise, postoperative medication and complications. The MIS cohort was found to have significantly less postoperative pain, and to have met the expectations of a significantly greater proportion of patients than conventional open surgery. The patients who underwent the MIS approach also had significantly shorter length of stay, time to mobilisation, lower opioid use and total complication rates. In our study MIS provided similar efficacy to the conventional open technique, and proved to be superior with regard to patient satisfaction, length of hospital stay, time to mobilise and complication rates.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Screws
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / surgery*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome