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Two Surgeries Have Similar Fusion, Complication Rates

Analysis compares open, minimally-invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

THURSDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The open and minimally-invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (open TLIF and mTLIF) procedures have similar and relatively high fusion rates, and their complication rates are similar as well, according to a meta-analysis published in the Dec. 15 issue of Spine.

Ray H. Wu, of Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, and colleagues reviewed 23 studies of open TLIF and mTLIF performed on 1,028 patients. Researchers compared fusion rates and complication rates for both procedures.

The investigators found that, at an average of 26.6 months after surgery, the mean fusion rate for 716 patients who underwent open TLIF was 90.9 percent. In comparison, the fusion rate was 94.8 percent for the 312 patients who were treated with the mTLIF procedure. Complication rates were 12.6 percent for open TLIF and 7.5 percent for mTLIF. Researchers also found that bone morphogenetic protein was less likely to be used in open TLIF than in mTLIF (12 and 50 percent, respectively).

"We found that fusion rates are similar for the two techniques. Complication rates are also similar, with a trend toward mTLIF having a lower rate. These findings remain valid when adjusted for publication bias," the authors write.

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