Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine if unilateral TLIF is comparable to conventional PLIF with regard to radiologic and clinical outcomes, and to examine the viability of local bone for bone grafting in lumbar interbody fusion. Summary of Literature Review: TLIF, a modified form of PLIF, is a new spinal fusion technique that avoids the typical complications of PLIF. Materials and Methods: We analyzed 32 cases of single-level TLIF or PLIF in patients with degenerative or isthmic spondylolisthesis, who were followed for more than 1 year. The patients in group 1 underwent TLIF, and the patients in group 2 underwent PLIF. The fusion rate, changes in disc height, and degree of anterolisthesis in the fused segment were analyzed radiologically. The clinical results were evaluated using the Oswestry Disability Index and visual analog scale. We also analyzed operative time, blood loss, and complications in both groups. Results: Radiologically and clinically, there were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of fusion rate, changes in disc height, or degree of anterolisthesis in the fused segment. The mean operative time was 200 minutes in group 1 and 240 minutes in group 2. The mean blood loss was 854 ml in group 1 and 1102 ml in group 2(p>0.05). Conclusions: TLIF is a potentially useful alternative to conventional PLIF in patients with degenerative or isthmic spondylolisthesis. Additionally, local bone may be a viable source of bone grafts for single-level TLIF and PLIF.
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