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22.06.2019 | Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (W Hsu, Section Editor) | Ausgabe 3/2019

Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 3/2019

Lateral and Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion—Current Concepts and a Review of Recent Literature

Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine > Ausgabe 3/2019
Raymond Hah, H. Paco Kang
Wichtige Hinweise
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



To review the relevant recent literature regarding minimally invasive, lateral, and oblique approaches to the anterior lumbar spine, with a particular focus on the operative and postoperative complications.


A literature search was performed on Pubmed and Web of Science using combinations of the following keywords and their acronyms: lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), oblique lateral interbody fusion (OLIF), anterior-to-psoas approach (ATP), direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF), extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF), and minimally invasive surgery (MIS). All results from January 2016 through January 2019 were evaluated and all studies evaluating complications and/or outcomes were included in the review.

Recent Findings

Transient neurological deficit, particularly sensorimotor symptoms of the ipsilateral thigh, remains the most common complication seen in LLIF. Best available current literature demonstrates that approximately 30–40% of patients have postoperative deficits, primarily of the proximal leg. Permanent symptoms are less common, affecting 4–5% of cases. Newer techniques to reduce this rate include different retractors, direct visualization of the nerves, and intraoperative neuromonitoring. OLIF may have lower deficit rates, but the available literature is limited. Subsidence rates in both LLIF and OLIF are comparable to ALIF (anterior lumbar interbody fusion), but further study is required. Supplemental posterior fixation is an active area of investigation that shows favorable biomechanical results, but additional clinical studies are needed.


Minimally invasive lumbar interbody fusion techniques continue to advance rapidly. As these techniques continue to mature, evidence-based risk-stratification systems are required to better guide both the patient and clinician in the joint decision-making process for the optimal surgical approach.

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