This article is part of Novel Fusion & Non-Fusion Approaches Improve Surgical Outcomes for Spine Center Patients.
In a retrospective review of 90-day outcomes of 397 patients receiving spinal fusion between May 2012 and June 2019, Dr. Buckland and Dr. Protopsaltis found reduced operating times, less blood loss, and a 2-day reduction in length of stay among the 244 patients who received SPLS.
The measurably shortened surgery was also associated with lower rates of postoperative intestinal blockage, or ileus—presumably due to reduction in anesthesia time, less-invasive abdominal incisions, reduced need for pain medication, more rapid mobilization, and avoidance of the prone position for patients. The SPLS approach may reduce other complications as well, such as deep surgical site infection, pressure areas, peripheral nerve injuries, and difficulties in airway access. The research was recently published by The Spine Journal.
“These patients tend to feel better, faster, which means better mobility and higher function, sooner,” says Dr. Protopsaltis. “Applying this technique as one of a handful of centers nationwide exemplifies our mission to bring cutting-edge techniques to patients while improving clinical outcomes.”