Before the advent of minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS), open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) was performed to treat spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, and spondylolysis. Minimally invasive TLIF has recently become more popular based upon the premise that a smaller, less traumatic incision should afford better recovery and outcomes. However, the learning curve associated with this technique must be considered. To analyze the perioperative factors associated with the learning curve in patients who underwent MIS TLIF versus open TLIF, we identified 22 patients who underwent TLIF from 2005 to 2008 within levels L4-S1 by the senior author (D.C.). Patients were subdivided into two groups according to whether they underwent: (i) MIS TLIF (10 patients, the first MIS TLIF procedures performed by D.C.); or (ii) open TLIF (12 patients). Preoperative, perioperative and postoperative factors were evaluated. Patients who underwent MIS TLIF had a statistically significant lower intraoperative transfusion rate, and rate of required postoperative surgical drains; and shorter periods of required drainage, and time to ambulation. However, the MIS TLIF group tended to have a higher rate of complications, which might have been associated with the learning curve. Both groups had a minimum of 1-year follow-up.
- Learning curve
- Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
- Open transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion
- Perioperative complications
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)