Spine Study Suggests OLIFF Surgery Effective For Spinal Stenosis

29 Dec, 2020 F.J. Thomas


Sarasota, FL (WorkersCompensation.com) – Back injuries resulting in surgery are often complex and expensive, resulting in life-long complications and often requiring extensive additional surgeries.  One of the leading reasons for spinal surgery is Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS), a degenerative narrowing of the spinal canal brought on by several causes including herniated discs, spinal injuries, thickened ligaments, bone abnormalities including bone spurs, and tumors. The narrowing of the spinal canal causes compression of the nerves which results in not only pain, but weakness, numbness, cramping, and in rare cases loss of motor function in the legs, bowels, and bladder.

The traditional surgical treatment for LSS usually involves removal of bony material and ligaments in an open surgery to create more space in the spinal canal. This typically involves a fusion or linking together of vertebrae with hardware to address the instability in the spine that occurs with removal of the bone and laminar tissue. However, recent studies are showing the same relief can be achieved through a much less invasive technique that involves increasing the intervertebral and interpedicular height by discectomy and fusion alone, resulting in less trauma to the major back muscles and ligaments.

A recent retrospective study by Hamid Abbasi, MD was published in Cureus and shows much promise for the less invasive treatment. Abbasi, one of the nation’s leading spine surgeons at Inspired Spine, specializes in minimally invasive spine surgeries and is one of the leading experts in Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLLIF).

Abbasi reviewed the records of 187 patients that underwent a total of 189 OLLIF procedures that were performed using a Trans-Kambin approach. The Kambin’s triangle is an area in the spine that does not have any vital vascular and neural structures, making it a prime candidate for access.

Outcomes were rated by the Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) one year after surgery. Secondary ratings were determined by radiculopathy at first follow up visit, and one year post-operative. Complications, blood loss, surgery times, and hospital stays were factored in as well.

The results of the study showed that ODI rates improved 52 percent at first follow up visit, and 37 percent a year later. At the first follow up visit, radiculopathy had improved in 39 percent of the patients, with 72 percent of them showing an improvement of 50 percent or greater. By one year, radiculopathy had improved in in 52 percent of patients with 74 percent showing an improvement of 50 percent or greater. Nerve irritation occurred in 12 percent of the patients, with 6.8 percent showing unresolved nerve irritation one year later.  

The full study is available on the Cureus website.















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    About The Author

    • F.J. Thomas

      F.J. Thomas has worked in healthcare business for more than fifteen years in Tennessee. Her experience as a contract appeals analyst has given her an intimate grasp of the inner workings of both the provider and insurance world. Knowing first hand that the industry is constantly changing, she strives to find resources and information you can use.

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