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This article is the author’s final published version in Neurospine, Volume 20, Issue 2, June 2023, Pages 487-497.

The published version is available at Copyright © 2023 by the Korean Spinal Neurosurgery Society.


To compare the early radiographic and clinical outcomes of expandable uniplanar versus biplanar interbody cages used for single-level minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF).

A retrospective review of 1-level MIS-TLIFs performed with uniplanar and biplanar polyetheretherketone cages was performed. Radiographic measurements were performed on radiographs taken preoperatively, at 6-week follow-up, and 1-year follow-up. Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and visual analogue scale (VAS) for back and leg at 3-month and 1-year follow-up.

A total of 93 patients (41 uniplanar, 52 biplanar) were included. Both cage types provided significant postoperative improvements in anterior disc height, posterior disc height, and segmental lordosis at 1 year. No significant differences in cage subsidence rates were found between uniplanar (21.9%) and biplanar devices (32.7%) at 6 weeks (odds ratio, 2.015; 95% confidence interval, 0.651–6.235; p = 0.249) with no additional instances of subsidence at 1 year. No significant differences in the magnitude of improvements based on ODI, VAS back, or VAS leg at 3-month or 1-year follow-up between groups and the proportion of patients achieving the minimal clinically important difference in ODI, VAS back, or VAS leg at 1 year were not statistically significantly different (p > 0.05). Finally, there were no significant differences in complication rates (p = 0.283), 90-day readmission rates (p = 1.00), revision surgical procedures (p = 0.423), or fusion rates at 1 year (p = 0.457) between groups.

Biplanar and uniplanar expandable cages offer a safe and effective means of improving anterior disc height, posterior disc height, segmental lordosis, and patient-reported outcome measures at 1 year postoperatively. No significant differences in radiographic outcomes, subsidence rates, mean subsidence distance, 1-year patient-reported outcomes, and postoperative complications were noted between groups.

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