Zachary J. Tempel, Gurpreet S. Gandhoke, Bryan D. Bolinger, David O. Okonkwo, Adam S. Kanter

April 2015, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 409 - 413 Case Report Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-015-3845-x

First Online: 17 March 2015


Available studies demonstrate vertebral body fractures as a relatively rare complication following lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), with most fractures reported in association with lateral plating and vertebral screws. This study reports the occurrence of two vertebral body fractures following stand-alone LLIF in 712 levels fused in 335 patients.


A retrospective review of prospectively collected data was performed on all patients who underwent minimally invasive LLIF over a seven-year period at a single institution. Patients with vertebral body fractures were recorded.


Two patients (0.6 %) out of 335 total patients (712 levels) were identified with vertebral body fractures following stand-alone LLIF. Both patients presented with severe back pain and return of symptoms within 2 weeks of the index surgery. Both patients were obese, had impaired bone mineral density and were managed with open posterior segmental fixation.


The 0.6 % incidence of vertebral body fractures in our series of fusing 712 levels is in accordance with the incidence rates reported in the literature. Potential risk factors for vertebral body fractures at the index LLIF level included obesity, osteopenia, unrecognized intraoperative endplate breach, graft subsidence and oversized graft placement.

Read Full Article