Effect of Single-Level Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion on Segmental and Overall Lumbar Lordosis in Patients with Lumbar Degenerative Disease

World Neurosurg. 2018 Jan:109:e244-e251. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2017.09.154. Epub 2017 Oct 5.


Objective: To investigate the ability of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) to improve lumbar lordosis (LL).

Methods: In this retrospective study, 92 patients undergoing single-level TLIF to treat lumbar degenerative disease were divided into a low back pain, radiculopathy, and neurogenic claudication group according to their symptoms. Preoperative and postoperative measures, including segmental LL, whole LL, pelvic incidence (PI), pelvic tilt, thoracic kyphosis, sagittal vertical axis, visual analog scale for back and leg pain, and Oswestry Disability Index, were used to evaluate radiographic and clinical outcomes.

Results: All clinical parameters were significantly improved after TLIF. There was no significant difference in any radiographic parameters in the low back pain group. In the radiculopathy and neurogenic claudication groups, all radiographic parameters were significantly changed after TLIF except for segmental LL and PI in both groups and pelvic tilt in the radiculopathy group. No statistically significant differences were found in improvement of segmental LL, PI, thoracic kyphosis, and visual analog scale (leg) between the radiculopathy and neurogenic claudication groups, whereas the differences in improvement of whole LL, pelvic tilt, PI-LL, sagittal vertical axis, visual analog scale (back), and Oswestry Disability Index were significant between the 2 groups.

Conclusions: For patients with neurogenic leg symptoms owing to single-level lumbar degenerative disease, whole LL was improved after TLIF as a result of spontaneous restoration of lordosis at the unfused lumbar levels.

Keywords: Interbody fusion; Lumbar degenerative disease; Lumbar lordosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Posture*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spondylosis / diagnosis
  • Spondylosis / surgery*
  • Visual Analog Scale