Bone Union Rate With Autologous Iliac Bone Versus Local Bone Graft in Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

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Study Design.

A retrospective clinical study with a long-term follow-up in a single facility.


The purpose of this study is to compare bone union rate between autologous iliac crest bone graft and local bone graft in patients treated by posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using carbon cage for single-level interbody fusion.

Summary of Background Data.

Recently, a number of authors have reported on local bone grafting using bone that is obtained from laminectomy, and have indicated that the achieved fusion rate is similar to that of autologous iliac bone grafting. However, there is no report comparing the fusion rates between autologous iliac bone and local bone graft with a detailed follow-up of fusion progression.


The subjects were 101 patients whose course could be observed for at least 2 years. The diagnosis was lumbar spinal canal stenosis in 14 patients, herniated lumbar disc in 19 patients, and degenerative spondylolisthesis in 68 patients. Single interbody PLIF was performed using iliac bone graft in 54 patients and local bone graft in 47 patients. Existence of pseudarthrosis on X-P (anteroposterior and lateral view) was investigated during the same follow-up period.


No significant differences were found in operation time and blood loss. Significant differences were also not observed in fusion grade at any follow-up period or in fusion progression between the 2 groups. Donor site pain continued for more than 3 months in 6 cases (11%). The final fusion rate was 94.5% versus 95.8%.


Fusion results from the local bone group and the autologous iliac bone group were nearly identical. Furthermore, fusion progression was nearly identical. Complications at donor sites were seen in 17% of the cases. From the aforementioned results, it was concluded that local bone graft is as beneficial as autologous iliac bone graft for PLIF at a single level.

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