The Influence of Endplate Morphology on Cage Subsidence in Patients With Stand-Alone Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (OLIF)

Ziang Hu, Dengwei He, Jiawei Gao, Zhongyou Zeng, Chao Jiang, Weiyu Ni, Jasper H.N. Yik, Xing Zhao, Shunwu Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Study Design: A retrospective study of prospectively collected radiographic and clinical data. Objective: This study aims to investigate the relationship between endplate morphology parameters and the incidence of cage subsidence in patients with mini-open single-level oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF). Methods: We included 119 inpatients who underwent OLIF from February 2015 to December 2017. A total of 119 patients with single treatment level of OLIF were included. Plain anteroposterior and lateral radiograph were taken preoperatively, postoperatively, and during follow-up. The correlation between disc height, endplate concave angle/depth, cage position and cage subsidence were investigated. Functional rating index (Visual Analogue Scale for pain, and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire) were employed to assess clinical outcomes. Results: Cage subsidence was more commonly seen at the superior endplates (42/119, 35.29%) than at the inferior endplates (6/119, 5.04%) (p < 0.01). More importantly, cage subsidence was significantly less in patients with superior endplates that were without concave angle (3/20, 15%) than with concave angle (37/99, 37.37%) (p < 0.05). Cage subsidence correlated negatively with preoperative anterior disc height (r = −0.21, p < 0.05), but positively with disc distraction rate (r = 0.27, p < 0.01). Lastly, the distance of cage to the anterior edges of the vertebral body showed a positive correlation (r = 0.26, p < 0.01). Conclusions: This study for the first time demonstrated that endplate morphology correlates with cage subsidence after OLIF. Since relatively flat endplates with smaller concave angle significantly diminish the incidence of subsidence, the morphology of cage surface should be taken into consideration when designing the next generation of cage. In addition, precise measurement of the disc height to avoid over-distraction, and more anteriorly placement of the cage is suggested to reduce subsidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalGlobal Spine Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023


  • cage positioning
  • disc degenerative disease
  • lumbar fusion
  • lumbar lordosis
  • oblique lateral lumbar interbody fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology


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