2019 Volume 3 Issue 4 Pages 327-334
Introduction: Lumbar interbody fusion is used to treat degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis with instability. We developed a device that safely expands a percutaneous path through Kambin's triangle and used it via a new technique: percutaneous endoscopic transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (PETLIF). We report in this study the details and outcomes of this procedure after a one year follow-up.
Methods: Twenty-five patients requiring interbody fusion for degenerative spondylolisthesis of the L4 vertebra were enrolled in this study. The procedure involved percutaneous posterior pedicle screw placement to correct spondylolisthesis. After the exterior of the L5 vertebra superior articular protrusion was shaved with a percutaneous endoscopic drill in order to expand the safe zone, the oval sleeve was inserted through Kambin's triangle and was rotated to expand the disk height and create a path toward the vertebral disk. The interbody cage was inserted against the J-shaped nerve retractor, with the exiting nerve root retracted. Indirect decompression of spinal canal stenosis was expected because the vertebral body spondylolisthesis had been corrected and the interbody distance was expanded. Thus, no direct decompression was performed posterolaterally.
Results: The mean follow-up period, surgery time, and blood loss were 22.7 months, 125.4 min, and 64.8 mL, respectively. The Japanese Orthopaedic Association score improved from 13.3 to 28.0. The Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score improved from 10.3 to 3.3. All items were evaluated both preoperatively and one year postoperatively. Bone fusion was observed one year postoperatively in 22 out of 25 patients.
Conclusions: These results demonstrate the feasibility and efficacy of PETLIF for treating degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis. This minimally invasive procedure is useful and has wide applicability. To obtain safe and favorable results, necessary surgical techniques must be mastered, and surgical equipment, including that for neural monitoring, is required.