Koji Akeda, Kevin Cheng, Edward Abarado, Norihiko Takegami, Junichi Yamada, Nozomu Inoue, Koichi Masuda, Akihiro Sudo

May 2021, Volume 30, Issue 5, pp 1355 - 1364 Original Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-021-06776-6

First Online: 02 March 2021


Two-dimensional (2D) analyses of intervertebral disc (IVD) height and foramen measurements following lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) have been reported. However, three-dimensional (3D) morphometric analysis of intervertebral structure using 3D computed tomography (3D CT) provides increased precision for measuring morphological changes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate 3D changes of lumbar IVD height and foramen diameter in degenerative lumbar disease patients following LLIF.


Subject-based 3D CT lumbar models were created for 26 patients before and following LLIF. IVD height (whole and five anatomical zones) and foramen diameter (minimum and maximum) were measured based on the model using custom software. The sagittal placement of cages (SPC) and cross-sectional area of the thecal sac (CSA) were measured. Changes in these parameters by LLIF were quantified and statistically analysed.


Following LLIF, disc height increased by an average of 2.9 mm (P 


This preliminary study quantifies disc height and foramen diameter changes in 3D following LLIF. The presented data provide baseline intervertebral changes for future comparisons with follow-up studies and clinical outcomes.

Level of evidence I

Diagnostic: individual cross-sectional studies with the consistently applied reference standard and blinding.

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