There are several reports about invasive muscle injury during posterior spinal surgery. However, few reports have evaluated the association between the clinical symptoms and changes in the physical properties of the psoas major after oblique lateral interbody fusion (OLIF). Therefore, the current study aimed to investigate the relationship between the clinical symptoms and changes in the psoas major muscle before and after OLIF.
Twenty-seven patients who underwent single-level OLIF following the diagnosis of degenerative lumbar disease were included in the study. The cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the psoas major on the approaching and contralateral sides were measured in the axial computed tomography view of the surgical intervertebral space preoperatively and postoperatively at 1 week and 3, 6, and 12 months. The preoperative and postoperative changes in the CSAs were compared. Muscle degeneration was evaluated using axial magnetic resonance images at the same level as that in the CSA evaluation preoperatively and at 12 months postoperatively. Additionally, the relationship between these parameters and postoperative lower limb symptoms was investigated.
Significant swelling of the psoas major on the approach side was observed 1 week postoperatively (p < 0.05). No postoperative muscle degeneration was observed. Three cases of paresthesia in the front of the thigh were observed, but no association was found with changes in CSA in any of the cases.
The OLIF approach caused swelling of the psoas major 1 week postoperatively with no more muscle degeneration in the mid-term. Although numbness of the lower limbs was found in some cases, no association was found with changes in CSA. Our study findings suggest that the OLIF approach causes temporary injury or swelling of the psoas major, but the long-term damage to the muscle is not significant.
Oblique lateral interbody fusion; computed tomography values; degenerative lumbar disease; lumbar spinal surgery; muscle injury; psoas major muscle.