To demonstrate the use of an alternative surgical corridor in oblique lateral interbody fusion
(OLIF) at the L5–S1 segment.
Summary of Background Data:
OLIF L5–S1 is essentially performed through the central disk space between the bifurcations of the iliac vessels, which is sometimes difficult due to the vascular structures that obstruct the surgical field. Another concern is retrograde ejaculation following superior hypogastric plexus injury in male patients.
Materials and Methods:
The alternative surgical corridor involves the lateral disk space external to the left iliac vessels. The patient position and the retroperitoneal approach are similar to those used in the conventional OLIF L5–S1. The left iliac vessels are identified and mobilized medially to the midline of the L5–S1 disk space. The vascular structures are then protected using the conventional OLIF 51 retractor system.
Six patients underwent OLIF L5–S1 through the alternative lateral surgical corridor. The L5–S1 disk spaces were always exposed sufficiently for disk preparation and cage insertion. The postoperative radiographs showed a satisfactory L5–S1 reconstruction with good cage position. There were no perioperative complications during the surgical access and reconstruction procedures.
When the central approach to the L5–S1 disk space poses a risk of vascular or superior hypogastric plexus injury, use of a lateral approach external to the left iliac vessels can be an alternative method to perform OLIF L5–S1.