The feasibility of computer-assisted 3D navigation in multiple-level lateral lumbar interbody fusion in combination with posterior instrumentation for adult spinal deformity

Michael J. Strong, Timothy J. Yee, Siri Sahib S. Khalsa, Yamaan S. Saadeh, Kevin N. Swong, Osama N. Kashlan, Nicholas J. Szerlip, Paul Park, Mark E. Oppenlander*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE The lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) technique is used to treat many common spinal degenerative pathologies including kyphoscoliosis. The use of spinal navigation for LLIF has not been broadly adopted, especially in adult spinal deformity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility as well as the intraoperative and navigation-related complications of computer-assisted 3D navigation (CaN) during multiple-level LLIF for spinal deformity. METHODS Retrospective analysis of clinical and operative characteristics was performed for all patients > 18 years of age who underwent multiple-level CaN LLIF combined with posterior instrumentation for adult spinal deformity at the University of Michigan between 2014 and 2020. Intraoperative CaN-related complications, LLIF approach-related postoperative complications, and medical postoperative complications were assessed. RESULTS Fifty-nine patients were identified. The mean age was 66.3 years (range 42-83 years) and body mass index was 27.6 kg/m2 (range 18-43 kg/m2). The average coronal Cobb angle was 26.8° (range 3.6°-67.0°) and sagittal vertical axis was 6.3 cm (range-2.3 to 14.7 cm). The average number of LLIF and posterior instrumentation levels were 2.97 cages (range 2-5 cages) and 5.78 levels (range 3-14 levels), respectively. A total of 6 intraoperative complications related to the LLIF stage occurred in 5 patients. Three of these were CaN-related and occurred in 2 patients (3.4%), including 1 misplaced lateral interbody cage (0.6% of 175 total lateral cages placed) requiring intraoperative revision. No patient required a return to the operating room for a misplaced interbody cage. A total of 12 intraoperative complications related to the posterior stage occurred in 11 patients, with 5 being CaN-related and occurring in 4 patients (6.8%). Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed no statistically significant risk factors for intraoperative and CaN-related complications. Transient hip weakness and numbness were found to be in 20.3% and 22.0% of patients, respectively. At the 1-month follow-up, weakness was observed in 3.4% and numbness in 11.9% of patients. CONCLUSIONS Use of CaN in multiple-level LLIF in the treatment of adult spinal deformity appears to be a safe and effective technique. The incidence of approach-related complications with CaN was 3.4% and cage placement accuracy was high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Computer-assisted navigation
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Lateral lumbar interbody fusion
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal deformity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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