The use of LLIF technology in adult patients with degenerative scoliosis: retrospective cohort analysis and literature review

Klimov V.S., Vasilenko I.I., Evsyukov A.V., Khalepa R.V., Amelina E.V., Ryabykh S.O., Rzaev D.A.


Incidence of adult degenerative scoliosis (ADS) among individuals over 50 years old reaches 68%. Surgical interventions aimed at correcting the spinal deformity in patients of the older age group are accompanied by a high risk of complications. The use of LLIF is associated with lower complications as compared with open anterior or posterior fusion.
Materials and methods
Seventy-one patients with ADS (13 men, 58 women) were operated at the Federal Neurosurgical Center. Their average age was 60.4/60 (average/median) [55;64.5] (1: 3 quartile) years. The follow-up was from 12 to 18 months. X-ray study, SCT, MRI of the lumbar spine were used. Questionnaire surveys were conducted using the visual analog pain scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36). Deformity correction was estimated in the frontal plane with Cobb’s method. Scoliosis was classified according to SRS-Schwab classification. Parameters of sagittal balance were estimated: PI (Pelvic incidence), SS (Sacral slope), PT (Pelvic tilt), LL (Lumbar lordosis). SVA, PT and PILL (PI minus LL) were defined adjusted for the age.
Back pain according to VAS relieved from 6.1/6 [4;8] to 2.2/2 [2;3] points (p less 0.001) and was statistically significant at 12 months after the surgery. Leg pain according to VAS decreased from 5.4/5 [4;8] to 2.1/2 [1;3] points (p less 0.001) and was statistically significant at 12 months after the surgery. Functional adaptation according to ODI improved from 51.2/52.2 [38.6;64.1] to 31.8/33.3 [26.1;35.9] (p less 0.001). According to SF36, PH before the surgery was 25.7/24.3 [21.8;28.9] on average and at 12 months after the surgery - 38.7/38.7 [35.4;41.2] (p less 0.001). SF-36 MH before surgery was 27.1/26.3 [21.8;31.4] on average and 12 months later – 41.3/40.6 [36.5;43.7] (p less 0.001). PT before the surgery was 23.3/22° [17.5;28], 12 months later it was 17.9/17° [15;20] (p less 0.001). PI-LL was 11.5/10 ° [4;17.5], 12 months later – 8.4/8 ° [5.5;11.5] (p = 0.11). Transient paresis of femur flexors on the ipsilateral side was observed in five (7 %) cases; transient hyposthesia on the anterior thigh surface occurred in eight (11.2 %) cases. There were two cases of medial malposition (0.4 %) of pedicle screws (474 screws), pseudoarthrosis at two levels (1.2 %) (Grade 4 Bridwell) out of 166 levels performed, and seven (4.2 %) cases of damage to cortical endplates.
Restoration of local sagittal balance in ADS patients by short-segment fixation using LLIF technology leads to a statistically significant improvement in the quality of life and increases functional adaptation. Few early and late postoperative complications, less intraoperative blood loss and shorter hospital stay make LLIF in combination with MIS transpedicular fixation a method of choice in determining the surgical tactics for ADS in elderly and old age patients.


lateral lumbar interbody fusion, sagittal balance, adult degenerative scoliosis, quality of life

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