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J Korean Soc Spine Surg. 2016 Dec;23(4):262-269. Korean. Review.
Soh J , Lee JC .
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Korea.
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Spine Center, College of Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.

STUDY DESIGN: Review of the current surgical technique and literature. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to review the surgical technique and the current evidence on minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF). SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW: Spinal fusion is a useful method in the treatment of various degenerative lumbar diseases. Recently, minimally invasive LLIF has been developed, enabling spine surgeons to perform anterior interbody fusion in a minimally invasive manner. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Review of the surgical technique and the literature. RESULTS: Minimally invasive LLIF may reduce the incidence of complications of anterior lumbar interbody fusion. LLIF may restore disc height more effectively than posterior lumbar interbody fusion and indirectly decompress the neural canal without nerve root or dural retraction or perineural scaring. The current indications for LLIF are almost equivalent to those of anterior and posterior lumbar interbody fusion. Recent studies have reported no differences in the fusion rate or clinical outcomes between LLIF and the conventional anterior or posterior interbody fusion techniques. However, LLIF has nonspecific complications, such as anterior thigh pain and hip flexor weakness. CONCLUSIONS: Minimally invasive LLIF is a promising surgical alternative to the conventional anterior or posterior fusion techniques. LLIF has the advantages of less intraoperative bleeding and soft tissue injury, and a faster return to work. However, postoperative nonspecific complications are problems that need to be addressed.

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