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Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society 2009;46(4): 328-332.
doi: https://doi.org/10.3340/jkns.2009.46.4.328
Fusion Criteria for Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Intervertebral Cages : The Significance of Traction Spur.
Kyung Hoon Kim, Jeong Yoon Park, Dong Kyu Chin
1Department of Neurosurgery, Spine and Spinal Cord Institute, Gangnam Severance Spine Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. dkchin@yuhs.ac
2Department of Neurosurgery, National Health Insurance Corporation Ilsan Hospital, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea.
The purpose of this study was to establish new fusion criteria to complement existing Brantigan-Steffee fusion criteria. The primary purpose of intervertebral cage placement is to create a proper biomechanical environment through successful fusion. The existence of a traction spur is an essential predictable radiologic factor which shows that there is instability of a fusion segment. We studied the relationship between the existence of a traction spur and fusion after a posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) procedure. METHODS: This study was conducted using retrospective radiological findings from patients who underwent a PLIF procedure with the use of a cage without posterior fixation between 1993 and 1997 at a single institution. We enrolled 183 patients who were followed for a minimum of five years after the procedure, and used the Brantigan-Steffee classification to confirm the fusion. These criteria include a denser and more mature bone fusion area than originally achieved during surgery, no interspace between the cage and the vertebral body, and mature bony trabeculae bridging the fusion area. We also confirmed the existence of traction spurs on fusion segments and non-fusion segments. RESULTS: The PLIF procedure was done on a total of 251 segments in 183 patients (71 men and 112 women). The average follow-up period was 80.4 +/- 12.7 months. The mean age at the time of surgery was 48.3 +/- 11.3 years (range, 25 to 84 years). Among the 251 segments, 213 segments (84.9%) were fused after five years. The remaining 38 segments (15.1%) were not fused. An analysis of the 38 segments that were not fused found traction spur formation in 20 of those segments (52.6%). No segments had traction spur formation with fusion. CONCLUSION: A new parameter should be added to the fusion criteria. These criteria should be referred to as 'no traction spur formation' and should be used to confirm fusion after a PLIF procedure.
Key Words: Posterior lumbar interbody fusion; Instability; Traction spur
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