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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 7236970, 5 pages
Clinical Study

Standard versus Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: A Prospective Randomized Study

1Bagdasar-Arseni Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania
2Louisiana State University, New Orleans, LA, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Gabriel Tender

Received 4 November 2016; Revised 18 February 2017; Accepted 21 March 2017; Published 15 June 2017

Academic Editor: Jonathan N. Sembrano

Copyright © 2017 Daniel Serban et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Symptomatic spondylolisthesis patients may benefit from surgical decompression and stabilization. The standard (S) technique is a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Newer, minimally invasive (MI) techniques seem to provide similar results with less morbidity. We enrolled patients with at least 6 months of symptoms and image-confirmed low-grade spondylolisthesis, at a single academic institution, between 2011 and 2015. The patients were randomized to either S or MI TLIF. The primary outcome measure was the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) improvement at 1 year. Secondary outcome measures included length of operation, estimated blood loss, length of hospitalization, and fusion rates at 1 year. Forty patients were enrolled in each group. The differences in mean operative time and estimated blood loss were not statistically significant between the two groups. The patients were discharged after surgery at 4.12 days for the S TLIF group and 1.92 days for the MI TLIF group. The ODI improvement was similar and statistically significant in both groups. The fusion was considered solid in 36 (90%) of patients at 1 year in both groups. In conclusion, the two techniques provided similar clinical and radiological outcomes at 1 year. The patients undergoing MI TLIF had a shorter hospital stay. This trial is registered with NCT03155789.