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Minimally Invasive Lateral Fusion Reduces Complications

Minimally invasive XLIF technique for fusion lowers rate of infection, shortens hospital stay

MONDAY, Jan. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The minimally invasive surgical (MIS) lateral approach to fusion using the extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) technique results in low incidences of infection, injury, and transfusion, and shortens hospital stays, according to a study published in the Jan. 1 issue of Spine.

W. Blake Rodgers, M.D., from Spine Midwest Inc. in Jefferson City, Mo., and colleagues studied 600 patients who were treated with XLIF for degenerative spinal conditions. Data were reviewed for demographic, diagnostic, and hospitalization information to identify complications, which were then compared with those seen in other minimally invasive and more traditional fusion approaches.

The researchers found an overall perioperative complication rate of 6.2 percent. The total number of levels addressed by the surgery was not a factor in the rate of complications, but the inclusion of the L4-L5 level was. They found no wound infections, vascular injuries, or intraoperative visceral injuries. They did, however, find a 0.7 percent rate of transient postoperative neurologic deficits, and 1.8 percent of the cases required re-operation. The average hemoglobin change from pre- to post-operation was 1.38, and hospital stay averaged 1.21 days.

"In comparison to traditional open posterior or anterior techniques, XLIF demonstrated fewer total, and fewer serious, complications," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial relationships with commercial parties related to the study.

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