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Does L5-S1 Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Improve Sagittal Alignment or Fusion Rates in Long Segment Fusion for Adult Spinal Deformity?


Study design

Retrospective cohort study.


To assess whether the addition of L5-S1 anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) improves global sagittal alignment and fusion rates in patients undergoing multilevel spinal deformity surgery.


Two-year radiographic outcomes, including lumbar lordosis, pelvic incidence, pelvic tilt, and T1 pelvic angle; hardware complications; and nonunion/pseudarthrosis rates were compared between patients who underwent lumbosacral fusion at 4 or more vertebral levels with and without L5-S1 ALIF between November 2003 and September 2016.


A total of 51 patients who underwent fusion involving a mean of 11.1 levels with minimum 2-year postoperative radiographic follow-up data were included. Patients who underwent L5-S1 ALIF did not have significant improvement in global sagittal alignment parameters and demonstrated a trend toward a higher rate of nonunion and hardware failure.


L5-S1 ALIF did not confer significant benefit in terms of global sagittal alignment and fusion rates in patients undergoing multilevel lumbosacral fusion. Given these results and that L5-S1 ALIF is associated with increased surgical morbidity, surgeons should be judicious in including L5-S1 ALIF in large multilevel constructs.

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