Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study is to assess and compare the outcomes of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and posterolateral fusion (PLF) in adult isthmic spondylolisthesis. Background Both PLIF and PLF have been used widely in the treatment of lumbar degenerative spinal diseases. Although PLIF has theoretical and demonstrable advantages over PLF, many authors did not observe this and report that outcomes of both surgical methods are comparable. Materials and methods Fifty patients with lumbar spondylolisthesis were operated for isthmic spondylolisthesis complaining of low back pain with or without sciatica and neurogenic claudication. The patients were allocated randomly to two groups according to the mode of bony fusion into PLIF and PLF groups. The two groups were statistically similar with respect to demographic and clinical data. Results No significant differences were found between PLIF and PLF in blood loss, short-term postoperative clinical result, or complications, but the operation time was longer with PLIF. Postoperative long-term visual analogue scale (VAS) for back pain, the Oswestry disability index, and fusion rates were significantly better in PLIF. Conclusion PLIF seems to be a better bone fusion technique than PLF in the management of isthmic spondylolisthesis.