Paramedian approach for transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with unilateral pedicle screw fixation. Technical note and preliminary report on 47 cases.

Jonathan Tuttle, Ahmed Shakir, Haroon Fiaz Choudhri

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Lumbar fusion is a commonly performed procedure for a variety of pathological conditions, and it is frequently used in the treatment of degenerative lumbar instability that is refractory to medical management. Pedicle screws and interbody devices have been used for internal fixation to promote arthrodesis, prevent nonunion, and facilitate early mobilization. Recently, attempts have been made to reduce the morbidity associated with lumbar fusion by using a variety of minimally invasive techniques. Many minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedures require specialized retractors, implants, image guidance systems, or insertion instruments. Other minimally invasive techniques are primarily applied to an ideal patient population (thin, healthy, and with no previous surgery). The authors describe their experience with a paramedian approach for minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) with unilateral pedicle screw (PS) fixation. This procedure requires only standard implants, instruments, and retractors, with direct visualization for all aspects of the procedure. The authors describe encouraging early results in a challenging patient population in which there was a high incidence of obesity, medical comorbidities, and previous surgery at the same level. The paramedian approach for TLIF performed using unilateral lumbar PSs has yielded successful outcomes in this series of 47 patients, and further study of this technique may help define its role as a minimally invasive procedure for spinal fusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E5
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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