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Lumbar Interbody Fusion

A Historical Overview and a Future Perspective

de Kunder, Suzanne L., MD∗,†; Rijkers, Kim, MD, PhD; Caelers, Inge J.M.H., MD; de Bie, Rob A., PhD†,§; Koehler, Peter J., MD, PhD||; van Santbrink, Henk, MD, PhD∗,†,‡

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002534

 In this historical study we present an overview of lumbar interbody fusion surgery, which is one of the most commonly performed instrumented spinal fusion surgeries. The present article focuses on the history of lumbar interbody fusion surgery, starting from the foundation which was laid in the 19th and 20th century until today. The development of material and techniques evolved from simple wiring to the combination of transforaminal interbody fusion with polyether ether ketone cages and pedicle screw fixation with poly axial screws. The possibilities of instrumented spinal fusion grew during the past 100 years, and a considerable increase in instrumented spinal surgery was seen over the past decades. Today, gain lies in perfection of techniques and deliberate indication and development of guidelines. Therefore, more standardized studies on instrumented spinal surgery are needed to be done and techniques should be personalized on the patients’ specific needs.

Level of Evidence: N/A

Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands

CAPHRI School for Public Health and Primary Care, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands

Department of Neurosurgery, Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen, The Netherlands

§Department of Epidemiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.

||Department of Neurology, Zuyderland Medical Center, Heerlen, The Netherlands.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Suzanne L. de Kunder, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, Maastricht University Medical Center, Postbus 5800, 6202 AZ Maastricht, The Netherlands; E-mail:

Received 18 July, 2017

Revised 30 October, 2017

Accepted 6 December, 2017

The manuscript submitted does not contain information about medical device(s)/drug(s).

No funds were received in support of this work.

No relevant financial activities outside the submitted work.

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