Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: An independent assessment of outcomes in a difficult patient population

Bradley K. Weiner, Hoan Vu Nguyen, S. Will Hazard

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is becoming increasingly popular for the surgical treatment of lumbar degenerative conditions. However, the outcomes following the procedure have only begun to be evaluated. Material/Methods: The authors reviewed all patients previously treated by TLIF at our tertiary center with minimum two year follow-up. Between 1997 and 2001, twenty-seven patients underwent the procedure. They were evaluated clinically and radiographically at regular intervals for a minimum two years following surgery and longer term follow-up was carried out by telephone interview. Long-term follow-up was undertaken by an independent assessor (a spine surgeon not directly involved in the patient's care) and outcomes were assessed using the measure designed by Macnab/McCulloch/An. Follow-up averaged 30 months and ranged from 24 to 42 months. Results: All but two patients obtained a solid radiographic arthrodesis and complications were few. However, only eleven patients obtained excellent or good clinical results, while 16 had fair or poor outcomes. Conclusions: TLIF is a technically demanding procedure which can be done with relatively few complications and offers excellent rates of arthrodesis. However, the outcomes of the procedure and indications for the procedure in difficult patient populations clearly require further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)CR99-CR102
JournalMedical Science Monitor
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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