A Systematic Review of Complications Following Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Including Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

  • Hannah Weiss
  • Roxanna M. Garcia
  • Ben Hopkins
  • Nathan Shlobin
  • Nader S. DahdalehEmail author
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (W Hsu, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery


Purpose of Review

To assess complications after minimally invasive spinal surgeries including transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MI-TLIF) by reviewing the most recent literature.

Recent Findings

Current literature demonstrates that minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in spine has improved clinical outcomes and reduced complications when compared with open spinal procedures. Recent studies describing MI-TLIF primarily for degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, and vertebral canal stenosis cite over 89 discrete complications, with the most common being radiculitis (ranging from 2.8 to 57.1%), screw malposition (0.3–12.7%), and incidental durotomy (0.3–8.6%).


Minimally invasive spine surgery has a distinct set of complications in comparison with other spinal procedures. These complications vary based on the exact MIS procedure and indication. The most frequently documented MI-TLIF complications in current published literature were radiculitis, screw malposition, and incidental durotomy.


Minimally invasive Spine Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) Complications Systematic review 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Hannah Weiss, Roxanna Garcia, Ben Hopkins, Nathan Shlobin, and Nader Dahdaleh declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hannah Weiss
    • 1
  • Roxanna M. Garcia
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ben Hopkins
    • 1
  • Nathan Shlobin
    • 3
  • Nader S. Dahdaleh
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Public Health and Medicine (IPHAM), Center for Healthcare StudiesNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

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