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Preoperative Multifidus Muscle Quality is Associated With Patient Reported Outcomes After Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Global Spine J. 2022 Aug 19:21925682221120400. doi: 10.1177/21925682221120400. Online ahead of print.


STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort.

OBJECTIVE: Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) commonly involves a transpsoas approach. Despite the association between LLIF, postoperative iliopsoas weakness, and iatrogenic neuropraxia, no study has yet examined the effect of psoas or multifidus muscle quality on patient-reported outcomes (PROs).

METHODS: This study retrospectively reviewed patients who underwent LLIF with 1-year minimum follow-up. Psoas and multifidus muscle qualities were graded on preoperative magnetic resonance imaging using two validated classification systems for muscle atrophy. Average muscle quality was calculated as the mean score from all levels (L1-2 through L5-S1). Univariate and multivariate statistics were utilized to investigate the relationship between psoas/multifidus muscle quality and preoperative, 6-weeks postoperative, and final postoperative PROs.

RESULTS: 74 patients (110 levels) with a mean follow-up of 18.71 ± 8.02 months were included for analysis. Greater multifidus atrophy was associated with less improvement on ODI, SF12, and VR12 (P < .05) on univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, worse multifidus atrophy predicted less improvement on SF12 and VR12 (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Despite the direct manipulation of the psoas muscle inherent to LLIF, preoperative psoas muscle quality did not affect postoperative outcomes. Rather, the extent of preoperative multifidus fatty infiltration and atrophy was more likely to predict postoperative pain and disability. These findings suggest that multifidus atrophy may be more pertinent than psoas atrophy in its association with patient-reported outcome measures after LLIF.

PMID:35984823 | DOI:10.1177/21925682221120400

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