Hanyang Med Rev.  2008 Feb;28(1):65-69.

Mini-invasive unilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion and pedicle screw fixation

  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine, Chung-Ang University, Korea. ybkim1218@cau.ac.kr


Posterior lumbar interbody fusion can simultaneously achieve spinal stabilization, anterior-column support, and direct neural decompression via a posterior approach. Unilateral transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) has several advantages such as less invasive and less retraction of neural components compared with conventional interbody fusion. But standard posterior spinal fusion with instrumentation requires a moderate amount of paraspinal musculoligamentous dissection. This dissection causes muscle denervation and atrophy that increases risk for failed back syndrome. Therefore, the authors performed a minimally invasive unilateral TLIF with a tubular retractor system combined with pedicle screw fixation to minimize the iatrogenic tissue injury. Although a less invasive unilateral approach was used, the early and longterm outcomes were as good as those on many reported series of posterior interbody fusion. More comfortness during the early postoperative period, small operation scar and less blood loss were the beneficial points compared with other conventional procedures. In the cases of instability of one-motion segment, pedicle screw fixation and TLIF with the tubular retractor system, minimally invasively, can reduce unnecessary trauma to the lumbar supporting structures while still accomplishing sufficient decompression and effective stabilization.


spinal fusion; transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion; tubular retractor; unilateral approach
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