STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected registry data.
OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to compare the clinical and radiologic outcomes between comparative cohorts of patients having anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) and patients having lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF).
METHODS: Ninety consecutive patients were treated by a single surgeon with either ALIF (n = 50) or LLIF (n = 40). Inclusion criteria were patients age 45 to 70 years with degenerative disk disease or grade 1 to 2 spondylolisthesis and single-level pathology from L1 to S1. Patient-reported outcome measures included pain (visual analog scale), disability (Oswestry Disability Index [ODI]), and quality of life (Short Form 36 physical component score [PCS] and mental component scores [MCS]). Assessment of fusion and measurement of lordosis and posterior disk height were performed on computed tomography scans.
RESULTS: At 24 months, patients having ALIF had significant improvements in back (64%) and leg (65%) pain and ODI (60%), PCS (44%), and MCS (26%; p < 0.05) scores. Patients having LLIF had significant improvements in back (56%) and leg (57%) pain and ODI (52%), PCS (48%), and MCS (12%; p < 0.05) scores. Fourteen complications occurred in the ALIF group, and in the LLIF group, there were 17 complications (p > 0.05). The fusion rate was 100% for ALIF and 95% for LLIF (p = 0.1948). ALIF added ∼6 degrees of lordosis and 3 mm of height, primarily measured at L5-S1, and LLIF added ∼3 degrees of lordosis and 2 mm of height between L1 to L5. Mean follow-up was 34.1 months.
CONCLUSIONS: In comparative cohorts of patients having ALIF and patients having LLIF at 24 months postoperatively, there were no significant differences in clinical outcomes, complication rates, or fusion rates.