Global Spine J 2014; 04(04): 255-262
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1394124
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Modified Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Radiculopathy Following Healed Vertebral Collapse of the Middle-Lower Lumbar Spine

Tomoya Yamashita
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka Rosai Hospital, Sakai, Japan
Hironobu Sakaura
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kansai Rosai Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan
Toshitada Miwa
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kansai Rosai Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan
Tetsuo Ohwada
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kansai Rosai Hospital, Amagasaki, Japan
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

18 February 2014

25 August 2014

Publication Date:
10 October 2014 (eFirst)


Study Design Retrospective study.

Objectives Lumbar radiculopathy is rarely observed in patients who have achieved bony healing of vertebral fractures in the middle-lower lumbar spine. The objectives of the study were to clarify the clinical features of such radiculopathy and to evaluate the preliminary outcomes of treatment using a modified posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) procedure.

Methods Fourteen patients with at least 2-year follow-up were enrolled in this study. The radiologic and clinical features of radiculopathy were retrospectively reviewed. As part of our modified PLIF procedure, a bone block was laid on chipped bone to fill the cavity of the fractured end plate and to flatten the cage–bone interface.

Results The morphologic features of spinal deformity in our patients typically consisted of the intradiscal vacuum phenomenon, spondylolisthesis, and a retropulsed intervertebral disk with a vertebral rim in the damaged segment. Cranial end plate fracture resulted in radiculopathy of the traversing nerve roots due to lateral recess stenosis. On the other hand, caudal end plate fracture led to unilateral radiculopathy of the exiting nerve root due to foraminal stenosis. The mean recovery rate based on the Japanese Orthopaedic Association score was 65.0%. Solid fusion was achieved in all but one case.

Conclusions Because of severe deterioration of the anterior column following end plate fracture, the foraminal zone must be decompressed in caudal end plate fractures. The modified PLIF procedure yielded satisfactory clinical outcomes due to anterior reconstruction and full decompression for both foraminal and lateral recess stenoses.