Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Traditional Open Versus Minimally Invasive Techniques

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Abstract

Recently, minimally invasive spine arthrodesis has gained popularity among spine surgeons. Minimally invasive techniques have advantages and disadvantages compared with traditional open techniques. Comparisons between short-term outcomes of minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion and open transforaminal interbody fusion in terms of estimated blood loss, postoperative pain, and hospital length of stay have been well documented and generally favor the minimally invasive technique. However, the advantages of minimally invasive transforaminal interbody fusion must be evaluated in the context of long-term results, such as patient-reported outcomes and the success of arthrodesis. Because the literature is equivocal in identifying the superior technique for successful long-term outcomes, more study is needed. Patient safety, the risk of complications, and the cost of these techniques also must be considered.

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