Do Lordotic Cages Provide Better Segmental Lordosis Versus Nonlordotic Cages in Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF)?

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Abstract

Study Design:

A retrospective comparative radiographic review.

Objective:

To evaluate the radiographic changes brought about by lordotic and nonlordotic cages on segmental and regional lumbar sagittal alignment and disk height in lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF).

Summary of Background Data:

The effects of cage design on operative level segmental lordosis in posterior interbody fusion procedures have been reported. However, there are no studies comparing the effect of sagittal implant geometry in LLIF.

Methods:

This is a comparative radiographic analysis of consecutive LLIF procedures performed with use of lordotic and nonlordotic interbody cages. Forty patients (61 levels) underwent LLIF. Average age was 57 years (range, 30–83 y). Ten-degree lordotic PEEK cages were used at 31 lumbar interbody levels, and nonlordotic cages were used at 30 levels. The following parameters were measured on preoperative and postoperative radiographs: segmental lordosis; anterior and posterior disk heights at operative level; segmental lordosis at supra-level and subjacent level; and overall lumbar (L1–S1) lordosis. Measurement changes for each cage group were compared using paired t test analysis.

Results:

The use of lordotic cages in LLIF resulted in a significant increase in lordosis at operative levels (2.8 degrees; P=0.01), whereas nonlordotic cages did not (0.6 degrees; P=0.71) when compared with preoperative segmental lordosis. Anterior and posterior disk heights were significantly increased in both groups (P<0.01). Neither cage group showed significant change in overall lumbar lordosis (lordotic P=0.86 vs. nonlordotic P=0.25).

Conclusions:

Lordotic cages provided significant increase in operative level segmental lordosis compared with nonlordotic cages although overall lumbar lordosis remained unchanged. Anterior and posterior disk heights were significantly increased by both cages, providing basis for indirect spinal decompression.

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