Effect of PLIF and TLIF on sagittal spinopelvic balance of patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis

Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc. 2018 Jul;52(4):272-276. doi: 10.1016/j.aott.2018.03.001. Epub 2018 Apr 26.


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of PLIF and TLIF on sagittal spinopelvic balance and to compare radiological results of two surgical procedures with regard to spinopelvic parameters.

Methods: Thirty-five patients (34 female and 1 male; mean age: 52.29 ± 13.08 (range: 35-75)) with degenerative spondylolisthesis cases were included in the study. Patients were divided into two groups according to surgical technique: PLIF and TLIF. The level and the severity of listhesis according to Meyerding classification were assessed and spinopelvic parameters including sacral slope, pelvic tilt, pelvic incidence (PI), lumbar lordosis, and segmental lumbar lordosis were measured on digital X-rays. All preoperative and postoperative parameters and the results were compared between two groups.

Results: The age distribution was similar in both groups (p = 0.825) and there was no difference between the mean PI of the groups (p = 0.616). In 15 patients, spondylolisthesis level were at the L5-S1 level (PLIF: 8, TLIF: 7), in 16 patients at the L4-L5 level (PLIF: 6, TLIF: 10) and in 4 patients at the L3-L4 level (PLIF: 2, TLIF: 2). According to Meyerding classification, before the operation, the sliding grades were 0 in 4 patients, 1 in 21 patients, 2 in 7 patients, and 3 in 3 patients. The grades changed into 0 in 28 patients, 1 in 5 patients, and 2 in 2 patients after surgery. There were no differences in the grade of listhesis between PLIF and TLIF groups preoperatively (p = 0.190) and postoperatively (p = 0.208). In both groups, the spondylolisthesis-related deformities of patients were significantly corrected after surgery (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: PLIF and TLIF techniques have similar radiological results in restoring the sagittal spinopelvic balance in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. Both techniques are good options to achieve reduction and fusion in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis, but have no advantage over each other for restoring spinopelvic balance.

Level of evidence: Level III, Therapeutic study.

Keywords: Angles; Degenerative spondylolisthesis; Lumbar interbody fusion; PLIF/TLIF; Sagittal spinopelvic balance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / diagnostic imaging
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pelvis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Pelvis / surgery
  • Postoperative Period
  • Radiography
  • Sacrum / diagnostic imaging
  • Sacrum / surgery*
  • Spinal Fusion / methods*
  • Spondylolisthesis / diagnostic imaging
  • Spondylolisthesis / surgery*