Neuroforaminal Bone Growth Following Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion With BMP: A Computed Tomographic Analysis

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Abstract

Study Design:

Computed tomographic analysis.

Objective:

To identify radiographic patterns of symptomatic neuroforaminal bone growth (NFB) in patients who have undergone a single-level minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) augmented with bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) utilizing computed tomography (CT).

Summary of Background Data:

BMP induces osteoblast differentiation leading to new bone formation. The association of BMP utilization and heterotopic bone formation after an MIS-TLIF has been described. However, studies have been limited in their patient population and details regarding diagnosis and treatment of NFB.

Materials and Methods:

Postoperative CT scans of the symptomatic and asymptomatic patients were analyzed to identify patterns of heterotopic bone growth on axial and sagittal views. The area of bone growth at the disk level, lateral recess, adjacent foramen, and retrovertebral area were measured. Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare the areas of bone growth between cohorts.

Results:

Postoperative CT images between 18 symptomatic and 13 asymptomatic patients were compared. On axial views, the symptomatic patients demonstrated greater areas of bone growth at the disk level (164.0±92.4 vs. 77.0±104.9 mm2), and lateral recess (69.6±70.5 and 5.9±12.5 mm2) as well as in the total cross-sectional area (290.3±162.1 vs. 119.4±115.6 mm2). On sagittal imaging, the mean bone growth at the subarticular level (148.7±185.1 vs. 35.8±37.4 mm2) and the total cross-sectional area (298.4±324.4 vs. 85.8±76.3 mm2) were greater in symptomatic patients (P<0.01). Amount of BMP utilized and operative levels were no different between cohorts.

Conclusions:

The findings of the present study suggest that an anatomic association exists between recalcitrant postoperative radiculopathy and NFB following an MIS-TLIF with BMP. Increased total bone growth as measured on serial axial and sagittal sections was associated with postoperative radiculopathy. The association between radiculopathy and the extension of BMP-induced bone growth toward the traversing nerve root appeared the most significant.

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