A novel endoscopic, stand-alone transforaminal decompression and fusion (TLIF) technique using the VariLift-LX system (Wenzel Spine) has been described in a 24 consecutive patient case series, published in the Journal of Spine.
The VariLift-LX system is a stand-alone, threaded expandable interbody fusion device. The case series, authored by Kai-Uwe Lewandrowski (Department of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery, Center for Advanced Spine Care of Southern Arizona, USA), functions as a surgical technique guide, and shows that it is feasible to perform a percutaneous endoscopically assisted TLIF with this device.
Lewandrowski writes, “Fusion of the anterior column with placement of interbody fusion cages is commonly employed in the treatment of instability-related degenerative disc disease that has been proven refractory in non-operative treatment. Interbody fusion cages aid in the containment of bone graft, promotion of more reliable fusion, and restoration of neuroforaminal height. The VariLift interbody fusion system has been developed as a standalone solution to address subsidence and migration problems seen with traditional lumbar interbody fusion cages that require posterior supplemental transpedicular screw fixation for improved stability. The transforaminal endoscopically assisted interbody fusion with the standalone expandable VariLift system represents a simplified alternative to other pedicle screw-based spinal fusion.”
Specifically commenting on the device, Lewandrowski continues, “The device maintains lumbar lordosis and resists subsidence and migration. Its large chamber provides ample room for bone graft and the wide fenestrations allow radiographic assessment of postoperative spinal fusion progression. This low-profile device is ideally suited for endoscopically assisted transforaminal implantation as it neither requires impaction, nor aggressive decortication of the endplates.”
“The initial success of the VariLift-LX system when used with endoscopic techniques is very exciting,” says Chad Neely, CEO of Wenzel Spine. “The ability to successfully perform interbody lumbar fusion using endoscopic access and our stand-alone, expandable interbody device represents the new frontier in minimally invasive spine surgery [MIS]. This endoscopic technique is the least invasive method to perform lumbar fusion available to surgeons and the VariLift-LX device is uniquely suited to be used in this application.” He further adds, “Wenzel Spine is excited to be on the forefront of making endoscopic stand-alone lumbar fusion a proven MIS solution for spine.”
The VariLift-LX stand-alone expandable interbody fusion is commercially available in the USA and Europe.