A community hospital prospective, nonrandomized chart review. March 2004 to December 2006, 58 patients were treated. Adverse events: new complaints and increasing length of stay limit early mobilization and require consultation with other physicians or reoperation. These formed the focus of the study.
Assess patient demographics and adverse events related to direct lateral lumbar approach.
Summary of Background Data
Clinicians advocate anterior column support for lumbar conditions. Minimally invasive stabilization of lumbar spine via direct lateral approach gained popularity owing to perceived decrease in patient morbidity.
Mild or major adverse events during hospital stay or within 6 weeks of discharge were considered early complications
and designated as medical, approach, or implant related. A historical cohort of open posterior spinal fusion patients was used for comparison.
Forty-three female and 15 male patients with a mean age of 61 years formed the study group. Surgery performed included 38 single level, 19 2-level, and 1 3-level case. Adverse events occurred in 13 patients (22.4%); 8 events were approach, 3 medical, and 1 implant bone interface related. Major complications
occurred in 5 patients (8.6%). Two patients (3.4%) with L4 nerve injury showed residual motor effects, at 1 year postoperatively. Significant differences were noted between single and 2-level cases; Estimated blood loss (EBL) and operative time. Open posterior fusion patients experienced greater operative time and increased EBL compared with minimally invasive cases.
Major adverse events approximated 8.6% with approach-related complaints of nerve irritation nearing 3.4%. Mild complications
occurred in 13.7% of patients. Meralgia paresthetica
was a primary approach-related complaint. Most complaints significantly reduced by first postoperative visit. One patient (1.7%) had symptoms lasting over a year that did not adversely affect function. Significant finding related to exposure, that is, 1-versus 2-level cases. Overall morbidity reduction noted by EBL is considerably less compared with the historical cohort. Direct lateral lumbar interbody fusion
has proven to be of value.