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Chun-Po Yen, Joshua M. Beckman, Andrew C. Vivas, Konrad Bach, and Juan S. Uribe

OBJECTIVE

The authors investigated whether the presence of intradiscal vacuum phenomenon (IVP) results in greater correction of disc height and restoration of segmental lordosis (SL).

METHODS

A retrospective chart review was performed on every patient at the University of South Florida's Department of Neurosurgery treated with lateral lumbar interbody fusion between 2011 and 2015. From these charts, preoperative plain radiographs and CT images were reviewed for the presence of IVP. Preoperative and postoperative posterior disc height (PDH), anterior disc height (ADH), and SL were measured at disc levels with IVP and compared with those at disc levels without IVP using the t-test. Linear regression was used to evaluate the factors that predict changes in PDH, ADH, and SL.

RESULTS

One hundred forty patients with 247 disc levels between L-1 and L-5 were treated with lateral lumbar interbody fusion. Among all disc levels treated, the mean PDH increased from 3.69 to 6.66 mm (p = 0.011), the mean ADH increased from 5.45 to 11.53 mm (p < 0.001), and the mean SL increased from 9.59° to 14.55° (p < 0.001). Significantly increased PDH was associated with the presence of IVP, addition of pedicle screws, and lack of cage subsidence; significantly increased ADH was associated with the presence of IVP, anterior longitudinal ligament (ALL) release, addition of pedicle screws, and lack of subsidence; and significantly increased SL was associated with the presence of IVP and ALL release.

CONCLUSIONS

IVP in patients with degenerative spinal disease remains grossly underreported. The data from the present study suggest that the presence of IVP results in increased restoration of disc height and SL.

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Joshua M. Beckman, Berney Vincent, Michael S. Park, James B. Billys, Robert E. Isaacs, Luiz Pimenta, and Juan S. Uribe

OBJECTIVE

Minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) via the retroperitoneal transpsoas approach is a technically demanding procedure with a multitude of potential complications. A relatively unknown complication is the contralateral psoas hematoma. The authors speculate that injury occurs from segmental vessel injury at the time of contralateral annulus release; however, this is not fully understood. In this multicenter retrospective review, the authors report the incidence of this contralateral complication and its neurological sequelae.

METHODS

This study was a retrospective chart review of all minimally invasive LLIF performed at participating institutions from 2008 to 2014. Exclusion criteria included an underlying diagnosis of trauma or neoplasia as well as lateral corpectomies or anterior column releases. Single-level, multilevel, and stand-alone constructs were included. All patients underwent preoperative MRI. Follow-up was at least 12 months. All complications and clinical outcomes were self-reported by each surgeon.

RESULTS

There were 3950 lumbar interbody cages placed via the retroperitoneal transpsoas approach, with 7 cases (0.18% incidence) of symptomatic contralateral psoas hematoma, 3 of which required reoperation for hematoma evacuation. Neurological outcome did not improve after reoperation. Reoperation occurred an average of 1 month after the initial operation due to a delay in diagnosis. In 1 case, segmental artery injury was confirmed at the time of surgery; in the others, segmental vessel injury was suspected, although it could not be confirmed. Neurological deficits persisted in 3 patients while the others remained neurologically intact. Two patients were receiving antiplatelet therapy prior to the procedure.

CONCLUSIONS

The contralateral psoas hematoma is a rare complication suspected to occur from segmental vessel injury during contralateral annulus release. Detailed review of preoperative imaging for aberrant vessel anatomy may prevent injury and subsequent neurological deficit.