Preoperative Duration of Symptoms Does Not Affect Outcomes of Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Neurosurgery 90:215–220, 2022

Previous studies have examined the impact of preoperative duration of symptoms (DOS) on lumbar spinal surgery outcomes although this has not been explored for anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of preoperative DOS on patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) of ALIF with posterior instrumentation.

METHODS: A database was retrospectively reviewed for ALIFs with posterior instrumentation. PROMs recorded at preoperative, 6-wk, 12-wk, 6-mo, and 1-yr postoperative timepoints in- cluded Visual Analog Scale back and leg, Oswestry Disability Index, 12-Item Short-Form Physical Component Score (SF-12 PCS), and PROM Information System physical function. Achievement of minimum clinically important difference (MCID) was determined by com- paring differences in postoperative PROMs from baseline to established values. Patients were grouped based on preoperative DOS into <1-yr and ≥1-yr groups. Differences in PROMs were compared using a t-test, whereas MCID achievement used a χ2 test.

RESULTS: Fifty-three patients were included, with 20 in the <1-yrgroup and 33 in the ≥1-yr group. The most common diagnosis was isthmic spondylolisthesis. No significant preoperative differences were observed in any PROM. DOS groups demonstrated significantly different scores for SF-12 PCS at 6 wk (P = .049). No significant differences in MCID achievement were observed between groups for any PROM.

CONCLUSION: ALIF patients demonstrated similar levels of pain, disability, and physical function regardless of preoperative DOS, except for back pain and physical function at intermittent timepoints. MCID achievement did not differ based on DOS for all outcome measures.

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