Published online Apr 16, 2013. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v1.i1.4
Revised: March 26, 2013
Accepted: March 28, 2013
Published online: April 16, 2013
Back pain is a common chronic disorder that represents a large burden for the health care system. There is a broad spectrum of available treatment options for patients suffering from chronic lower back pain in the setting of degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine, including both conservative and operative approaches. Lumbar arthrodesis techniques can be divided into sub-categories based on the part of the vertebral column that is addressed (anterior vs posterior). Furthermore, one has to differentiate between approaches aiming at a solid fusion in contrast to motion-sparing techniques with the proposed advantage of a reduced risk of developing adjacent disc disease. However, the field of application and long-term outcomes of these novel motion-preserving surgical techniques, including facet arthroplasty, nucleus replacement, and lumbar disc arthroplasty, need to be more precisely evaluated in long-term prospective studies. Innovative surgical treatment strategies involving minimally invasive techniques, such as lateral lumbar interbody fusion or transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, as well as percutaneous implantation of transpedicular or transfacet screws, have been established with the reported advantages of reduced tissue invasiveness, decreased collateral damage, reduced blood loss, and decreased risk of infection. The aim of this study was to review well-established procedures for lumbar spinal fusion with the main focus on current concepts on spinal arthrodesis and motion-sparing techniques in degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine.
Core tip: There is a broad spectrum of surgical techniques that can be performed in order to fuse lumbar motions segments. The aim of this study was to review well-established procedures for lumbar spinal fusion with the main focus on current concepts on spinal arthrodesis and motion-sparing techniques in degenerative disorders of the lumbar spine, including minimally invasive interbody fusion, total disc arthroplasty, nucleus replacement systems, percutaneous implantation of pedicle and facet screws, facet arthroplasty, and interspinous implants.