Modification of Magerl's technique for the placement of translaminar facet screws in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: a technical note and comparative outcome analysis
Background To describe and illustrate a safe and effective technique for the placement of translaminar facet screws (TLFS) in transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). Methods Forty-two patients with single-level lumbar diseases were divided into two groups randomly. 21 patients were treated by traditional TLIF using bilateral pedicle screws fixation (BPS) while the other patients underwent insertion of a unilateral pedicle screw (UPS)and contralateral TLFS using our modified technique. In
... ified technique. In this technique, a small unicortical "hole" was formed adjacent to the contralateral facet joint to ensure that insertion of the screw could be directly visualized through the hole to prevent violation of the spinal canal. The ODI, JOA, VAPS questionnaire, the mean operation time, mean operative blood loss, length of stay and postoperative complications were collected for analysis. Results There is no significant difference between the BPS and UPS + TLFS group in the preoperative and postoperative ODI, JOA or VAPS at each follow- up visit, while the UPS + TLFS group using our modified technique significantly reduced the mean operation time, the mean estimated blood loss and the length of stay. These results demonstrated this modified technique to be safe and effective in TLIF. Conclusions In contrast to conventional TLIF, our modified technique for placing TLFS in TLIF can reduce soft tissue injuries, reduce the operation risk of violation of the spinal canal and the expenses, minimize radiation exposure, and shorten the length of the operation without a concurrent reduction in clinical efficacy.