Variation in Psoas Muscle Location Relative to the Safe Working Zone for L4/5 Lateral Transpsoas Interbody Fusion: A Morphometric Analysis

Sean M. Barber, Zain Boghani, William Steele, J. Bob Blacklock, Todd Trask, Paul Holman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background The safe working zone for lateral access to the L4/5 disc space has been said to lie in the anteroposterior (AP) midpoint of the disc space due to the location of the femoral nerve at that level. However, the AP location of the psoas muscle (and thus the lumbosacral plexus within) at L4/5 is variable. A psoas muscle lying excessively anteriorly at the L4/5 disc space may preclude safe access to the L4/5 disc space from a lateral transpsoas approach. Methods Lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for 300 consecutive patients at the authors’ institution were reviewed retrospectively. The AP distance between the ventral aspect of the thecal sac and the dorsal aspect of the psoas muscle at L4/5 was measured, as was the AP diameter of the L4/5 disc space. Results The dorsal aspect of the psoas muscle at L4/5 was most commonly found dorsal to the ventral aspect of the thecal sac (zone P, N = 145; 48.3%), whereas it was found at the junction of zones IV/P in 37 patients (12.3%), in zone IV in 85 patients (28.3%), in zone III in 29 patients (9.7%), and in zone II in 4 patients (1.3%). Conclusions The location of the psoas muscle in relation to the L4/5 disc space is somewhat variable. In 11% of patients, the dorsal-most aspect of the psoas muscle was located within zones II or III, likely precluding safe access to the L4/5 disc space from a lateral transpsoas approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)396-399
Number of pages4
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Volume107
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Femoral nerve
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Psoas muscles
  • Spinal fusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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