Contralateral radiculopathy after transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion in the treatment of lumbar degenerative diseases: A Case Series

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Rationale:Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is an effective treatment for patients with degenerative lumbar disc disorder. Contralateral radiculopathy, as a complication of TLIF, has been recognized in this institution, but is rarely reported in the literature.Patient concerns:In this article, we report 2 cases of contralateral radiculopathy after TLIF in our institution and its associated complications.Diagnoses:In the 2 cases, the postoperative computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance image (MRI) showed obvious upward movement of the superior articular process, leading to contralateral foraminal stenosis.Interventions:Revision surgery was done at once to partially resect the opposite superior facet and to relieve nerve root compression.Outcomes:After revision surgery, the contralateral radiculopathy disappeared.Lessons:Contralateral radiculopathy is an avoidable potential complication. It is very important to create careful preoperative plans and to conscientiously plan the use of intraoperative techniques. In case of postoperative contralateral leg pain, the patients should be examined by CT and MRI. If CT and MRI show that the superior articular process significantly migrated upwards, which leads to contralateral foraminal stenosis, revision surgery should be done at once to partially resect the contralateral superior facet so as to relieve nerve root compression and avoid possible long-term impairment.

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