Written by Laura Dyrda
An article published in Spine examines the effectiveness of anterior lumbar interbody fusion for degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine.
The researchers reviewed a consecutive series of patients who had one- and two-level ALIF between 2005 and 2010 using recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2. Here are five findings from the study:
1. Patients reported significant Oswestry Disability Index and visual analogue scale improvements two years after surgery. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Spinal Disorders and Techniques showed that VAS and ODI improved significantly overtime for single-level ALIF and anteroposterior lumbar fusion, but patient satisfaction consistently ranked higher in the ALIF group. The study authors suggested performing a standalone ALIF in cases with single-level DDD.
2. The two-year postoperative disc height was significantly greater than the preoperative disc height at the fused level. A 2011 study examined whether disc space height of the fused segment affects adjacent degeneration in ALIF, finding the decreased disc space height adversely aggravated the adjacent segment degeneration.