Stand-alone ALIF versus TLIF in patients with low back pain

Brain and Spine 3 (2023) 102713

Instrumented lumbar fusion by either the anterior or transforaminal approach has different a vantages and disadvantages. Few studies have compared PatientReported Outcomes Measures (PROMs) between stand-alone anterior lumbar interbody fusion (SA-ALIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Research question: This is a register-based dual-center study on patients with severe disc degeneration (DD) and low back pain (LBP) undergoing single-level SA-ALIF or TLIF. Comparing PROMs, including disability, quality of life, back- and leg-pain and patient satisfaction two years after SA-ALIF or TLIF, respectively.

Material and methods: Data were collected preoperatively and at one and two-year follow-up. The primary outcome was Oswestry Disability Index (ODI). The secondary outcomes were patient satisfaction, walking ability, visual analog scale (VAS) scores for back and leg pain, and quality of life (QoL) measured by the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) index score. To reduce baseline differences between groups, propensityscore matching was employed in a 1:1 fashion.

Results: 92 patients were matched, 46 S A-ALIF and 46 TLIF. They were comparable preoperatively, with no significant difference in demographic data or PROMs (P > 0.10). Both groups obtained statistically significant improvement in the ODI, QoL and VAS-score (P < 0.01), but no significant difference was observed (P = 0.14). No statistically significant differences in EQ-5D index scores (P = 0.25), VAS score for leg pain (P = 0.88) and back pain (P = 0.37) at two years follow-up.

Conclusion: Significant improvements in ODI, VAS-scores for back and leg pain, and EQ-5D index score were registered after two-year follow-up with both SA-ALIF and TLIF. No significant differences in improvement.