The aim of this study was to explore the incidence and risk factors for posterior cage migration (PCM) following decompression and instrumented fusion for degenerative lumbar disorders, and hope to provide references in decision making and surgical planning for spine surgeons.
By retrieving the medical records from January 2011 to December 2015, 286 patients were retrospectively reviewed. According to the occurrence of PCM, patients were divided into 2 groups: PCM group and non-PCM (N-PCM). To investigate risk values for PCM, 3 categorized factors were analyzed statistically: patient characteristics: age, sex, body mass index, bone mineral density, duration of disease, diagnosis, comorbidity, smoke; surgical variables: surgery time, blood loss, surgical strategy, cage morphology, cage size, surgical segment, fusion number, source of bone graft, surgeon experience; radiographic parameters: preoperative lumbar lordosis, correction of lumbar lordosis, preoperative lumbar mobility, preoperative intervertebral height, change of intervertebral height, Modic changes, paraspinal muscle degeneration.
PCM was detected in 18 of 286 patients (6.3%) at follow-up. There was no statistically significant difference between the 2 groups in patient characteristics, except diagnosis, as lumbar spondylolisthesis was more prevalent in PCM group than that in N-PCM group. There was no difference between the 2 groups in surgical variables, except cage size and surgeon experience, as size of cage was smaller in PCM group than that in N-PCM group, and the surgeons with less experience (less than 3 years) were more prevalent in PCM group than that in N-PCM group. There was no statistically significant difference between 2 groups in radiographic parameters. Logistic regression model revealed that less than 3 years of surgeons’ experience, small cage size, and lumbar spondylolisthesis were independently associated with PCM.
For patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis, they should be fully informed about the risk of PCM before operation. While for spinal surgeons, large cage should be preferred, and careful manipulation should be adopted, especially for new learners with less than 3-year experience of fusion surgery.