Complications associated with posterior and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

Jesse Chrastil*, Alpesh A. Patel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Posterior lumbar interbody fusion and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion are commonly performed to obtain a 360° arthrodesis through a posterior-only approach. These techniques are currently used in the management of spondylolisthesis, degenerative scoliosis, pseudarthrosis, recurrent disk herniation, and chronic low back pain with associated degenerative disk disease. Several adverse events have been described, including intraoperative neurologic injury, implant migration or subsidence, dural tears, infection, heterotopic ossification, BMP-related radiculitis, and osteolysis. Although the use of newer materials (eg, bone morphogenetic proteins) and procedures (eg, minimally invasive surgery) is on the rise, they are associated with unique concerns. Understanding the potential adverse events and steps that can be taken to prevent, detect, and manage complications is critical in patient counseling and perioperative decision making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-291
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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