Corresponding Author

Rizk, Ahmed

Subject Area


Document Type

Clinical Study


Background Data: Although many surgeons stopped using closed-suction drainage following simple spine decompression surgery, there is still debate regarding the necessity of wound drainage in more extensive lumbar spine surgical procedures. Purpose: To estimate the advantages and disadvantages of performing one- or two-level transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) without closed-suction drainage. Study Design: Retrospective clinical cohort study. Patients and Methods: The Fast-Track technique was performed in 36 consecutive TLIF surgeries between January and September 2016 without using wound drainage. Twenty-eight patients were females and 8 were males. Thirty patients had single-level TLIF and 6 double-level TLIF. The results of these patient series were retrospectively analyzed. The variables that were reviewed included blood transfusion, postoperative temperature, postoperative pain and the use of opiates during hospital stay, duration of surgery, duration of hospital stay, and incidence of postoperative complications such as neurological deficit, hematoma, postoperative wound infection, and revision surgery. Results: There was no postoperative allogenic blood transfusion; the patients did not develop postoperative neurological deficit; there were no cases of surgical revision as a result of significant postoperative hematoma or infection. There were two cases (5.5%) of revision surgery due to persistent CSF leakage from the wound. Four patients (11.1%) developed serous discharge from the wound, which was treated conservatively with frequent dressing and antibiotics. Four patients (11.1%) developed transient postoperative fever. The mean pain score in the first 2 days after surgery assessed by the Visual Analogue Score (VAS) was 6.1 points, and additional opiate in the first 2 postoperative days was mandatory in 30 patients (83.3%). Conclusion: Performing one- or two-level lumbar decompression and fusion without closed-suction wound drainage did not increase the rate postoperative infection or hematoma formation. Additionally, none of our patients required postoperative blood transfusion. (2018ESJ168)


Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), closed-suction drainage, fast-track technique, Postoperative complications, lumbar decompression and fixation