Preoperative difference in lumbar lordosis (DiLL) was associated with surgical outcomes after single-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Patients with DiLL>0 (DiLL (+)) tended to show worse clinical outcomes and postoperative greater restoration of lumbar lordosis (LL). However, some patients with DiLL (+) showed relatively good outcomes and no postoperative LL restration. This study aimed to elucidate whether the lumbar intervertebral disc vacuum phenomenon (VP) influences clinical course after single-level TLIF in patients with DiLL (+) and DiLL (−).
Patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and degenerative spondylolisthesis treated with single-level TLIF were included. Pre- and postoperative LL were measured, and postoperative LL improvement was calculated. Preoperative DiLL was calculated as preoperative supine LL minus standing LL. Severity of VP at the non-fused discs (SVP (non-FS)) was evaluated using preoperative reconstructed computed tomography imaging. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the Oswestry disability index, visual analogue scale (VAS; low back pain (LBP), lower-extremity pain, numbness, and the Japanese Orthopaedic Association Back Pain Evaluation Questionnaire. Patients were stratified by the median preoperative SVP (non-FS) score into severe and mild VP groups in patients with DiLL (+) or DiLL (−), and their surgical outcomes were compared.
Overall, 89 patients were included. In patients with DiLL (+) (n = 37), patients with severe VP showed worse clinical outcomes, particulary for LBP and DiLL (+) patients with mild VP showed greater LL improvement (6.5° ± 10.0°). In patients with DiLL(−) (n = 52), patients with severe VP showed worse clinical outcomes, particularly for LBP and no differences in preoperative, postoperative, and improvement of LL were observed between two groups.
Patients with DiLL (+) and DiLL (−) showed different clinical courses depending on VP severity at the non-fused discs after single-level TLIF.
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Published online: January 24, 2023
Accepted: January 8, 2023
Received in revised form: December 17, 2022
Received: September 9, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
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