Vol 51, No 1 (2017)

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Unilaterally posterior lumbar interbody fusion with double expandable peek cages without pedicle screw support for lumbar disc herniation

Aydemir Kale1, Ibrahim Ilker Oz2, Ayhan Onk3, Murat Kalaycı1, Çağatay Büyükuysal4
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2016.11.001
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2017;51(1):53-59.



Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is usually bilateral procedure, and it is combined with posterior by bilateral pedicle screw support or with fixation. The purpose of this retrospective study was to compare the surgical outcomes of simple discectomy and PLIF without pedicle screw support in patients with lumbar disc herniation (LDH).

Patients and methods

60 patients with single segment LDH were operated between February 2010 and June 2013. 40 patients were treated with simple discectomy (Group 1) and 20 patients were treated with PLIF using double expandable polyetheretherketone (PEEK) cages without instrumentation (Group 2) unilaterally. Pain and function were evaluated by the visual analog scale (VAS) and Oswestry disability index (ODI) before and 18 months after surgery. Besides, PLIF patients were evaluated with computerized tomography (CT) scan of lumbar vertebra for the evaluation of the height of the disc, instability and fusion.


Both leg and low back pain VAS scores were significantly improved 18 months after surgery in both of the groups (p<0.001). Significant decrease in VAS low back pain scores was seen in group 2 when compared to group 1 (p<0.001). Height of the intervertebral disc space was preserved and no instability was detected in group 2. No recurrence and 80% fusion rate was achieved in group 2.


This study showed that unilateral PLIF intervention with double expandable PEEK cages without pedicle screw support would be sufficient in the management of single segment lumbar disc herniation in patients whom are thought to have lumbar stabilization.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska