Perioperative surgical complications and learning curve associated with minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: a single-institute experience.


Park Y, Lee SB, Seok SO, Jo BW, Ha JW. Perioperative surgical complications
and learning curve associated with minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar
interbody fusion: a single-institute experience. Clin Orthop Surg. 2015
Mar;7(1):91-6.

Abstract

Background

As surgical complications tend to occur more frequently in the beginning stages of a surgeon's career, knowledge of perioperative complications is important to perform a safe procedure, especially if the surgeon is a novice. We sought to identify and describe perioperative complications and their management in connection with minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF).

METHODS

We performed a retrospective chart review of our first 124 patients who underwent minimally invasive TLIF. The primary outcome measure was adverse events during the perioperative period, including neurovascular injury, implant-related complications, and wound infection. Pseudarthroses and adjacent segment pathologies were not included in this review. Adverse events that were not specifically related to spinal surgery and did not affect recovery were also excluded.

RESULTS

Perioperative complications occurred in 9% of patients (11/124); including three cases of temporary postoperative neuralgia, two deep wound infections, two pedicle screw misplacements, two cage migrations, one dural tear, and one grafted bone extrusion. No neurologic deficits were reported. Eight complications occurred in the first one-third of the series and only 3 complications occurred in the last two-thirds of the series. Additional surgeries were performed in 6% of patients (7/124); including four reoperations (two for cage migrations, one for a misplaced screw, and one for an extruded graft bone fragment) and three hardware removals (one for a misplaced screw and two for infected cages).

CONCLUSIONS

We found perioperative complications occurred more often in the early period of a surgeon's experience with minimally invasive TLIF. Implant-related complications were common and successfully managed by additional surgeries in this series. We suggest greater caution should be exercised to avoid the potential complications, especially when surgeon is a novice to this procedure.

KEYWORDS

Complications; Learning curve; Lumbar vertebrae; Minimally invasive; Spine fusion.


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