Purpose. To assess the clinical and radiographic outcomes and complications of anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) versus transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Methods. A systematic literature search was conducted from six electronic databases. The relative risk and weighted mean difference (WMD) were used as statistical summary effect sizes. Results. Fusion rates (88.6% vs. 91.9%, P = 0.23) and clinical outcomes were comparable between ALIF and TLIF. ALIF was associated with restoration of disk height (WMD, 2.71 mm, P = 0.01), segmental lordosis (WMD, 2.35, P = 0.03), and whole lumbar lordosis (WMD, 6.33, P = 0.03). ALIF was also associated with longer hospitalization (WMD, 1.8 days, P = 0.01), lower dural injury (0.4% vs. 3.8%, P = 0.05) but higher blood vessel injury (2.6% vs. 0%, P = 0.04). Conclusions. ALIF and TLIF appear to have similar success and clinical outcomes, with different complication profiles. ALIF may be associated with superior restoration of disk height and lordosis, but requires further validation in future studies.
- anterior lumbar interbody fusion
- lumbar spondylosis
- transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion