OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the rate of cage subsidence after minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MITLIF) conducted using a polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cage, and to identify associated risk factors.
SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Although various rates of cage subsidence after lumbar interbody fusion have been reported, few studies have addressed subsidence rate after MITLIF using PEEK cage.
METHODS: A total of 104 consecutive patients who had undergone MITLIF using a PEEK cage with a minimum follow-up of 2 years were included in this study. Cage subsidence was defined to have occurred when a cage was observed to sink into an adjacent vertebral body by ≥2 mm on the postoperative or serial follow-up lateral radiographs. The demographic variables considered to affect cage subsidence were the following: age, sex, body mass index, bone mineral density, diagnosis, number of fusion segment, and the quality/quantity of back muscle, and the cage-related variables considered were: level of fusion, intervertebral angle, cage size, cage position, and postoperative distraction of disc height. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to explore relations between these variables and cage subsidence.
RESULTS: : For the 122 cages inserted, the rate of cage subsidence was 14.8% (18 cages), and cage subsidence occurred within 7.2±8.5 (1-25) months of surgery. The odds ratios for factors found to significantly increase the risk of cage subsidence were; 1.950 (95% confidence interval, 1.002-4.224) for L5-S1 level, and 1.018 (95% confidence interval, 1.000-1.066) for anterior cage position.
CONCLUSIONS: The rate of PEEK cage subsidence after MITLIF was relatively low. End-plate manipulation and cage insertion during MITLIF were not influenced by a small operation window.
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