Coverage Policy Manual
Policy #: 2011007
Category: Surgery
Initiated: May 2011
Last Review: October 2018
  Minimally Invasive Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Description:
A variety of minimally invasive/minimal access procedures are being investigated to perform interbody fusion, with the intent of limiting iatrogenic damage to muscular, ligamentous, neural, and vascular structures. Minimally invasive techniques are being studied for anterior lumbar fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), lateral interbody fusion (e.g., Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion [XLIF] or Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion [DLIF]), and para-axial interbody fusion (AxiaLIF).
 
Interbody fusion of the lumbar spine can be approached from an anterior, lateral, or posterior direction (Shen, 2007).  Anterior or posterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF/PLIF) are traditionally performed with an open approach (long incision with wide retraction of the musculature), but can also be performed through minimally invasive/minimal access procedures. Procedures described as minimally invasive range from percutaneous techniques to minimal open access approaches that decrease the size of the incision and reduce muscle retraction. For example, minimally invasive/minimal access PLIF uses tubular retractors (e.g., METRx™, Luxor™) to allow access and open visualization of the surgical area. (PLIF is differentiated from instrumented or noninstrumented posterolateral intertransverse fusion, which fuses the transverse processes alone). Additional minimally invasive approaches that use specialized retractors are lateral transpsoas interbody fusion (LTIF), lateral interbody fusion (e.g., XLIF, DLIF), and transforaminal interbody fusion (TLIF). An axial approach (AxiaLIF), which is performed perpendicular to the long axis of the spine with access through the sacrum, is also being investigated.
 
Interbody fusion surgeries may also include decompression of the spinal canal, use of interbody cages, bone grafts and osteoinductive agents (e.g., recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein), and insertion of pedicle screws and rods to increase stability of the spine. Minimally invasive procedures may include percutaneous placement of pedicle screws and rods and/or use of bone morphogenetic protein in place of autograft bone harvested from the iliac crest.
 
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
Anterior access provides direct visualization of the disc space, potentially allowing a more complete discectomy and better fusion than lateral or posterior approaches. An anterior approach avoids trauma to the paraspinal musculature, epidural scarring, traction on nerve roots, and dural tears. However, the retraction of the great vessels, peritoneal contents, and superior hypogastric sympathetic plexus with a peritoneal or retroperitoneal approach place these structures at risk of iatrogenic injury. Access to the posterior space for the treatment of nerve compression is also limited. Laparoscopic ALIF has also been investigated.
 
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
PLIF can be performed through either a traditional open procedure with a midline incision or with a minimally invasive approach using bilateral paramedian incisions. In the open procedure, the midline muscle attachments are divided along the central incision to facilitate wide muscle retraction and laminectomy. In minimally invasive PLIF, tubular retractors may be used to open smaller central bilateral working channels to access the pedicles and foramen. Minimally invasive PLIF typically involves partial laminotomies and facetectomies. The decompression allows treatment of spinal canal pathology (e.g., spinal stenosis, lateral recess and foraminal stenosis, synovial cysts, hypertrophic ligamentum flavum) as well as stabilization of the spine through interbody fusion.
 
Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
TLIF is differentiated from the more traditional bilateral PLIF by a unilateral approach to the disc space through the intervertebral foramen. In minimally invasive TLIF, a single incision about 2-3 cm in length is made approximately 3 cm lateral to the midline. A tubular retractor is docked on the facet joint complex and a facetectomy with partial laminectomy is performed. Less dural retraction is needed with access through the foramen via unilateral facetectomy, and contralateral scar formation is eliminated. TLIF provides access to the posterior elements along with the intervertebral disc space.
 
Lateral Interbody Fusion (e.g., Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion [XLIF] or Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion [DLIF])
Lateral interbody fusion uses specialized retractors in a minimally invasive, lateral approach to the anterior spine through the psoas. In comparison with ALIF, the lateral approach does not risk injury to the peritoneum or great vessels. However, exposure to the spine may be more limited, and dissection of the psoas major places the nerves of the lumbar plexus at risk. Electromyographic monitoring and dissection predominantly within the anterior psoas major may be utilized to reduce the risk of nerve root injury. These various factors decrease the ability to perform a complete discectomy and address pathology of the posterior elements.
 
Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion (AxiaLIF)
Percutaneous AxiaLIF (also called pre-sacral, anterior para-axial, trans-sacral or paracoccygeal interbody fusion, performed with the AxiaLIF® and AxiaLIF 2 Level systems) is a minimally invasive technique that uses axial access to the L4-S1 disc spaces. Under fluoroscopic monitoring, a guide pin is passed through a small (15- to 20-mm) incision lateral to the coccyx and advanced along the midline of the anterior surface of the sacrum. A series of graduated dilators is passed along the guide pin, which serves as a working channel for the passage of instruments. Under fluoroscopic guidance, the nucleus pulposus is debulked and bone graft material is injected through a threaded rod to fill the disc space. Percutaneous pedicle or facet screws are also used. Although the procedure may minimize damage to adjacent tissue, it is performed entirely under indirect visualization with fluoroscopy and is not able to address posterior element pathology.
 
Regulatory Status
The AxiaLIF® (Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion) and AxiaLIF 2 Level systems were developed by TranS1® and consist of techniques and surgical instruments to perform percutaneous fusion of the L5-S1 or L4–S1 vertebral bodies. U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) premarket notification (510[k]) summaries indicate that the AxiaLIF® (Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion) and AxiaLIF 2 Level systems procedures are intended to provide anterior stabilization of the spinal segments as an adjunct to spinal fusion and to assist in the treatment of degeneration of the lumbar disc; to perform lumbar discectomy; or to assist in the performance of interbody fusion.  The AxiaLIF® systems are indicated for patients requiring fusion to treat pseudoarthrosis, unsuccessful previous fusion, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis (Grade 1), or degenerative disc disease, defined as back pain of discogenic origin with degeneration of the disc confirmed by history and radiographic studies. They are not intended to treat severe scoliosis, severe spondylolisthesis (Grades 2, 3, and 4), tumor, or trauma. The devices are not meant to be used in patients with vertebral compression fractures or any other condition in which the mechanical integrity of the vertebral body is compromised. Their usage is limited to anterior supplemental fixation of the lumbar spine at L5-S1 or L4-S1 in conjunction with legally marketed facet or pedicle screw systems.
 
Other approaches may also use customized instrumentation, and several tubular retractor systems and pedicle screw-rod instrumentation are cleared for marketing through the FDA 510(k) pathway. These include the MAST QUADRANT™ Retractor System, METRx X-tube and Sextant pedicle screw system, all from Medtronic, and the Viper pedicle screw system from DePuy. XLIF uses specialized retractors (MaXcess) and NeuroVision EMG nerve monitoring by NuVasive, while DLIF utilizes specialized instrumentation from Medtronic.
 
Published reports indicate a steep learning curve for minimally invasive approaches, including minimally invasive anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar Interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar Interbody fusion (TLIF). Surgeons should be adequately trained in these techniques.
 
Coding
 
Effective January 1, 2013, there are new CPT category I codes for these procedures:
 
22558 Arthrodesis, anterior interbody technique, including minimal discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression); lumbar
 
22585 Arthrodesis, anterior interbody technique, including minimal discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression); each additional interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
 
The following codes, also effective January 1, 2013, are specific to AxiaLIF (or pre-sacral interbody fusion):
 
22586 Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed, L5-S1 interspace
and a new category III add-on code for the additional interspace:
 
0309T Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft, when performed, lumbar, L4-L5 interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
 
Also effective January 1, 2013, the category III codes that were previously used for this procedure were revised to indicate that they represent the procedure without instrumentation:
 
0195T Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, disc space preparation, discectomy, without instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed; L5-S1 interspace
 
0196T L4-L5 interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
 

Policy/
Coverage:
Minimally invasive interbody fusion of the lumbar spine meets member benefit certificate primary coverage criteria that there be scientific evidence of effectiveness in improving health outcomes using the following approaches:
    • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
    • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
    • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
 
All other minimally invasive procedures for lumbar interbody fusion do not meet member benefit certificate primary coverage criteria that there be scientific evidence of effectiveness in improving health outcomes, including, but not limited to the following:
    • Laparoscopic ALIF
    • Axial anterior lumbar fusion (AxiaLIF)
    • Lateral interbody fusion (e.g., XLIF, DLIF)
 
For contracts without primary coverage criteria, all other minimally invasive procedures for lumbar interbody fusion including but not limited to Laparoscopic ALIF , Axial anterior lumbar fusion, (AxiaLIF), or Lateral interbody fusion (e.g., XLIF, DLIF) are considered investigational. Investigational services are considered specific contract exclusions in most member benefit certificates of coverage.
 

Rationale:
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
In a 2005 review of the literature on laparoscopic ALIF, Inamasu and Guiot identified 19 studies which described the outcome of a L5-S1 laparoscopic ALIF, 9 studies which described the outcome of the L4-L5 laparoscopic ALIF, and 8 studies which described the outcome of a 2-level laparoscopic ALIF. (4) The review concluded that there was no marked difference between laparoscopic ALIF and the open or mini-open ALIF in terms of short-term efficacy (operative time, blood loss, and length of hospital stay), but there was a higher incidence of complications. In addition, the conversion rate to open surgery was considered to be high. It was noted that at the time of the review article, some spine surgeons were abandoning the laparoscopic approach and switching to mini-open ALIF.
 
The largest trial on laparoscopic ALIF was a prospective multicenter (19 surgeons from 10 U.S. centers) investigational device exemption (FDA-regulated) trial, published in 1999, that compared short-term outcomes from laparoscopic fusion of the spine (240 consecutive patients) and open ALIF (earlier cohort of 591 similar patients) (Regan, 1999). Inclusion criteria were painful degenerative disc disease consisting of disc space narrowing at 1 or 2 contiguous levels (L4-L5 and L5-S1). Single level fusion was performed in 215 patients using laparoscopy and in 305 patients using the open procedure; 2-level fusions were performed in 25 patients via laparoscopy and 286 patients with the open procedure. In all surgeries autologous bone graft from the iliac crest was used in conjunction with an interbody cage, and a general or vascular surgeon assisted with the surgery. In 25 (10%) of the laparoscopy patients, conversion to an open procedure was required due to bleeding (n=6), anatomic considerations (n=5), adhesions or scar tissue limiting access to the spine (n=8); and technical difficulties in placing the threaded cage (n=6). The hospital stay was modestly shorter for the single-level laparoscopy group (3.3 vs. 4 days), but not for patients undergoing 2-level laparoscopy. Operative time was increased (201 vs. 142 minutes) for the single-level laparoscopic approach (243 minutes for the 25 cases converted to open). For 2-level laparoscopy, the procedure time was 146 minutes longer than for the open approach. The reoperation rate for single-level procedures was 4.7% in the laparoscopy group compared with 2.3% in the open group (not significantly different). Major complications (implant migration, great vessel damage, pulmonary embolism) were significantly lower in the laparoscopy group (0% vs. 2%). Postoperative complications were similar in the 2 groups, with an occurrence of 14.1% in the open approach and 19.1% for the laparoscopic approach.
 
A prospective comparison of 50 consecutive patients (25 in each group) with disabling discogenic pain who underwent 1 or 2 level ALIF at L4-L5 with either a laparoscopic or mini-open approach was reported by Zdeblick and David in 2000 (Zdeblick, 2000). The reasons for assignment to the different procedures were not described. There was no difference between the laparoscopic and mini-open approaches in operating time (125 vs. 123 minutes), blood loss (50 cc vs. 55 cc), or length of hospital stay (1.4 vs. 1.3 days) for single-level fusion. For 2-level fusion, the operating time was increased for the laparoscopic procedure (185 vs. 160 minutes). There was a 20% rate of complications in the laparoscopic group (disc herniation, ureter injury, iliac vein laceration, transient retrograde ejaculation, deep vein thrombosis) compared with 4% in the mini-open group (ileus). Exposure was considered inadequate in the laparoscopic group, with only a single interbody cage placed in 16% of patients in the laparoscopic group. All patients in the mini-open group had 2 interbody cages placed.
 
A retrospective comparison between a cohort of 48 consecutive patients with spondylolisthesis who underwent mini-open ALIF and 46 patients who underwent minimally invasive TLIF during the same period of time was reported by Kim and colleagues in 2009 (Kim, 2009). Patients had persistent radiculopathy, progressive neurologic deficits, and lower-back pain for more than 6 months. Both groups underwent percutaneous pedicle screw fixation, however, only the TLIF group had decompression with removal of the ligamentum flavum. The mean time to return to work was significantly shorter in the ALIF group (6.1 months) than in the TLIF group (10.9 months). At an average of 33 (ALIF) and 30 (TLIF) months follow-up, independent assessment showed successful radiological fusion in 94% of the ALIF group and 98% of the TLIF group. There was no significant difference in disc height, listhesis, or lordosis between the 2 groups. Clinical outcomes, measured by visual analog scores (VAS) for pain and the Oswestry disability index (ODI), were similar for the 2 groups.
 
In 2010, the same group of investigators reported minimum 5- to 7-year follow-up of 63 patients from a cohort of 73 patients (86%) with isthmic spondylolisthesis who had undergone mini-open ALIF combined with percutaneous pedicle screw fixation (Lee, 2004) (Kim, 2010). The patients had a mean age of 50.6 years (range of 19 – 77 years). The minimally invasive ALIF was performed with an abdominal retroperitoneal approach using a robotic arm retractor and endoscope-assisted ballooning. The mean operating time was 210 minutes and there was a mean blood loss of 135 mL. No blood transfusions were needed. There were 6 cases of complications from the ALIF procedure (3 iliac vein injuries, 2 wound hematomas, and 1 deep vein thrombosis) and 6 cases of complications from the percutaneous pedicle screw/rod procedure (2 breakages of cortical walls of the vertebral body, 3 malpositions of screws, and 1 transient thigh numbness). Twenty-six patients (36%) were reported to have excellent results, 43 (59%) had good results, 3 (4%) were reported to have had fair results, and 1 patient (1%) had a poor result. Sixty-three patients (86%) were available for follow-up at a mean 72 months after the procedure. From this cohort, 89% had a good to excellent outcome, 8% had a fair outcome, and 3% had a poor outcome.
 
Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
The 2010 literature review update identified a number of studies on minimally invasive PLIF. Prospective comparative studies and larger retrospective comparisons are described below.
 
In 2007, Park and Ha reported minimum 12-month follow-up from a prospective cohort study that compared minimally invasive (n = 32) and open (n = 29) single-level PLIF (Park, 2007). The choice of procedure was determined by the ability to pay for the minimally invasive approach, which was not covered by medical insurance in Korea during that time period (Oct 2003 – Oct 2004). Indications for surgery were segmental instability at the level of spinal stenosis, lumbar disc herniation, and low-grade spondylolisthesis. Patients who had previous spinal surgery or who needed multiple levels of decompression were excluded. In the minimally invasive group, microscopic visualization was used with the aid of tubular retractors (METRx-MD) that created a working channel through 2 small paramedian skin incisions. Percutaneous pedicle screw-rod fixation (Sextant system) of the motion segment was completed through the same incisions after removal of the tubular retractors. The preoperative diagnosis of the groups was comparable at baseline; there was a trend towards greater severity on the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) score in the minimally invasive group (69% vs. 48% class 2). Although surgical time increased from 149 to 192 minutes, all other intraoperative variables were improved by the minimally invasive procedure. These included mean intraoperative blood loss (433 vs. 738 mL), postoperative drainage (175 vs. 483 mL), days before ambulation (1.2 vs. 3.0) and days of hospital stay (5.3 vs. 10.8). Postoperative back pain was lower at all times after surgery, with a visual analog score (VAS) for pain of 2.1 versus 3.8 in the open group at the final (> 12 month) follow-up. Good to excellent results were obtained in 91% of the minimally invasive group and 90% of the traditional open group. Radiographic outcomes were similar in the 2 groups. The minimally invasive group had one case of screw malposition and one case of cage migration. The authors noted that there is a steep and prolonged learning curve for minimally invasive spine surgery, and prudent attention is needed to lower the risk of technical complications.
 
In 2010, Ghahreman et al. reported a prospective study comparing minimally invasive versus open PLIF in 47 patients with spondylolisthesis and radicular pain who met inclusion criteria and agreed to participate in the study (Ghahreman, 2010). The study was performed as part of a quality assurance audit with independent assessment of outcomes 12 months after treatment. Patients chose the minimally invasive or open procedure after explanation that the effectiveness of the traditional approach was known but involved more extensive surgery, while the outcomes of the new minimally invasive approach were unknown. For the minimally invasive approach, bilateral hemilaminectomies and facetectomies were performed through 3 cm paramedian incisions. The pedicle screws were placed with direct visualization down the tubular retractor. For all but 3 patients in the minimally invasive group, the fusion was single-level. Generally, the 2 groups of patients were similar at baseline, there was a significant difference in the percent of patients with listhesis and a difference in baseline disc height; these were adjusted for in the statistical analysis. With the minimally invasive approach there were trends towards increased operating time (median of 220 vs. 203 minutes; p = 0.08), but decreased percentage of patients requiring transfusion (4% vs. 21%; p = 0.09). Radiological outcomes were similar in the 2 groups at 12-month follow-up, and only one patient who underwent the open procedure had failure of fusion. The patients who had the minimally invasive approach had a shorter time to independent mobility (median of 2 vs. 4 days) and a shorter hospital stay (median of 4 vs. 7 days). Clinical outcomes (e.g., back pain, leg pain, bodily pain, functioning) were similar for the 2 groups.
 
Kasis and colleagues published a comparative study of a procedure they called limited exposure PLIF (a small central incision and use of bone marrow aspirate, n = 209 consecutive patients) and standard open PLIF (single surgeon, 114 historical controls) in 2009 (Kasis, 2009).  All patients had chronic low back pain for a minimum of 2 years that was unresponsive to conservative treatment, had MRI evidence of disc degeneration, and an Oswestry disability index (ODI) > 30. The limited access procedure was performed with a smaller central incision and direct visualization. In the standard open procedure bone graft was harvested from the iliac crest; in the limited access procedure the laminectomy was partial and bone graft was obtained from the facetectomy and mixed with bone marrow aspirate from the iliac crest. All screws were inserted by direct vision. At baseline, and at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months, then at 6-month intervals thereafter, patients completed an internet-based self-assessment questionnaire (Global Patient Outcome System, GPOS) which included automatically assessed values for the ODI, short-form 36, and visual analog scores (VAS) for pain. The duration of follow-up averaged 6.4 years for the standard approach and 3.4 years for the limited access approach. Follow-up was available for 114 of 126 patients (90%) treated with the standard open approach and 209 of 223 patients (94%) undergoing limited access PLIF. Limited access was found to reduce the hospital stay from 4.0 days to 2.2 days and result in improved clinical outcomes at the latest follow-up. For example, the ODI improved by 22.5 points with the standard open approach and by 28.8 points with the limited access approach. VAS back pain improved from 6.4 to 2.7 with the standard approach and from 7.2 to 1.9 with limited access. VAS leg pain improved from 6.5 to 2.5 with the standard approach and from 6.3 to 1.2 with limited access. The limited access procedure was found to reduce bone graft donor site pain without increasing other adverse events. Although limited by the longer follow-up in the patients treated with the standard open access (i.e., confounded by the potential for adjacent level disease over time), these results do suggest that a limited access approach to PLIF does not result in poorer outcomes than a standard open procedure.
 
Other publications from the U.S. report the use of open and minimally invasive PLIF for different patient populations. For example, a retrospective comparative review by Bagan et al. found that more procedures in their open cohort were revisions, and there was a higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the open cohort (Bagan, 2008). Another retrospective analysis reported that patients presenting with bilateral neurological symptoms were treated with open surgery, while those with unilateral symptoms were treated with minimally invasive PLIF (Wang, 2010). Although the complication profile is reported to be favorable with minimally invasive PLIF in comparison with open PLIF, the different patient populations in these retrospective studies limits direct comparison of results.
 
Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
A meta-analysis of minimally invasive and open TLIF, published in 2010, identified 23 studies (1028 patients) that met the study inclusion criteria (Wu, 2010).  All patients in the studies presented with spondylolisthesis, herniated nucleus pulposus, stenosis, or other degenerative lumbar disease. The included studies were all considered class III evidence (observational); no randomized controlled trials comparing minimally invasive and open TLIF were identified. The meta-analysis included 312 patients (8 studies) who underwent minimally invasive TLIF and 716 patients (16 studies) who underwent open TLIF. Mean clinical follow-up ranged from 9 to 46 months. After adjustment for publication bias, the fusion rate for the minimally invasive procedure was 94%, compared to 91% for open TLIF. Use of structural allograft and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) were more frequent in the minimally invasive (54% and 50%, respectively) than the open procedure (14% and 12%, respectively). The percentage of single-level fusions was higher in the minimally invasive than open TLIF (84% vs. 68%). Complication rates, after adjustment for publication bias, were 18% for open TLIF and 8% for minimally invasive TLIF. The type of complications reported included dural tear/cerebrospinal fluid leak (n=34), new onset radiculopathy (n=32), infection (n=16), and misplaced screws (n=14). Other clinical outcomes were not assessed in this meta-analysis due to variability in assessment tools and reporting. Given reports of symptomatic ectopic bone formation with off-label application of BMP in posterior and transforaminal interbody fusion (16, 17), it is notable that BMP was used in as many as 84% of patients in the studies reviewed. As indicated by this meta-analysis, there are a number of publications describing the use of minimally invasive TLIF. Also identified in the 2010 literature update were prospective and retrospective cohort studies that compared outcomes from minimally invasive and open TLIF without the use of BMP; the largest of these comparative studies are described below.
 
A prospective pseudo-randomized study comparing minimally invasive and open TLIF in 62 patients was reported by Shunwu et al. in 2010 (Shunwu, 2010). Patients diagnosed with discogenic low back pain, intervertebral space stenosis with unilateral huge lumbar disc herniation, foraminal stenosis, separation of the posterior ring apophysis at the level of spinal stenosis, low-grade spondylolisthesis, or single segmental instability were assigned to the minimally invasive group (n=32) if admitted on even-numbered days or to the open group (n=30) if admitted on odd-numbered days. The 2 groups were generally similar at baseline and had comparable follow-up (92%). Following the minimally invasive unilateral or bilateral paravertebral incisions, tube retractors were expanded to provide an operative field diameter of 2.5 to 4.0 cm (pedicle to pedicle). Pedicle screws and rods were inserted percutaneously, and the pedicle screw and rod system was distracted to achieve distraction of the intervertebral space. Decompression was achieved by cutting the inferior portion of the lamina, hypertrophied articular processes, and ligamenta flava. Interbody cages and iliac crest bone graft were used for interbody fusion. The operative duration was slightly longer for the minimally invasive group (159 vs. 142 min), and intraoperative blood loss was slightly reduced (400 vs. 517 mL). Time to ambulation (3.2 days) and length of hospital stay (9.3 days) were reduced compared to patients who underwent the open procedure (5.4 and 12.5 days, respectively). At 24-month follow-up, radiographic outcomes were similar for the 2 groups. The ODI for the minimally invasive and open groups were 27.2 and 24.7, respectively. VAS for pain was 2.3 for the minimally invasive group and 3.2 for the open group. Complications were observed in 6 patients who underwent minimally invasive TLIF (including 2-screw malposition) and 5 patients who underwent the open procedure.
 
A prospective comparison of minimally invasive (n = 42) and open (n = 43) TLIF was reported by Wang et al. in 2010 (Wang, 2010). Eighty-five consecutive patients with single-level degenerative or isthmic spondylolisthesis were treated by different surgeons (one surgeon performed minimally invasive TLIF and the other performed open TLIF) at the same hospital during the same period of time. For the minimally invasive procedure a retractor system with a 3-cm incision was used for placement of autologous bone graft, obtained from the facetectomy, in conjunction with an interbody cage. Percutaneous pedicle screws were implanted with palpation and fluoroscopic guidance. Comparison of the minimally invasive with the open procedure showed similar operating time (156 vs. 145 minutes), reduced blood loss (264 vs. 673 mL) and less blood transfusion (0.12 vs. 1.47), but an increase in x-ray time (84 vs. 37 minutes). Hospital stay was reduced in the minimally invasive group (10.6 vs. 14.6 days). Follow-up at an average 26 months (range, 13-35 months) showed no difference in VAS or ODI between the 2 groups. Reported complications in the minimally invasive group were 2 small dural tears and 2 new radiculopathies that resolved with reoperation. In the open group, there were 2 dural tears and 1 pedicle screw malposition that required revision surgery. Each group had 1 case of nonunion without complaint of back pain.
 
In 2010, Villavicencio and colleagues compared their first 76 consecutive patients undergoing minimally invasive TLIF with a matched cohort of 63 patients who had undergone open TLIF (Villavicencio, 2010). Patients were matched based on diagnosis (painful degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and/or stenosis), number of spinal levels (75% of both groups had 1 level and 25% had 2 level), and history of previous lumbar surgery (28% of the minimally invasive group and 40% of the open group). All patients underwent placement of interbody structural allografts with locally harvested autograft. In some cases, cancellous bone substitute was utilized, and use of BMP was slightly, but not significantly, higher with the minimally invasive procedure (80% vs. 68% of cases). The operative time was similar for the 2 procedures (223 for minimally invasive and 215 for open); blood loss (163 vs. 367 mLs) and hospital stay (3.0 vs. 4.2 days) were reduced. The overall complication rate was similar in the 2 groups (31.6% vs. 31.7%), but there were more major complications in the minimally invasive group (18.4% vs. 9.5%). Six out of 8 of the observed nerve injuries were noted to have occurred in the author’s first 15 minimally invasive cases, indicating a steep learning curve for this procedure. The rate of minor complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leak and anemia, was higher for the open procedure (22.2% vs. 13.2% of patients). At a mean 38-months follow-up (range 26-52), radiographic fusion was considered successful in all patients. VAS improved from 7.4 to 3.4 for the group who underwent minimally invasive TLIF and from 8.0 to 3.2 for the open group; these scores were not statistically different.
 
Clinical outcomes from 25 matched pairs of patients were reported by Peng et al. in 2009.  The 25 patients were out of 29 who underwent minimally invasive TLIF and included the surgeon’s learning cases; these were compared by retrospective review of patients matched based on age, sex, and level operated (reasons for excluding 4 patient pairs were not described). Indications for surgery were grade 1 or 2 spondylolisthesis and degenerate discs presenting with mechanical low back pain and radicular symptoms. Patients undergoing the minimally invasive TLIF had longer fluoroscopy time (105 vs. 35 sec) and longer surgery time (216 vs. 170 min), but a reduction in blood loss (150 vs. 681 mL) and need for transfusion (0 vs. 14%). Time to ambulation (1.4 vs. 3.0 days), length of hospitalization (4.0 vs. 6.7 days), VAS on discharge (1.7 vs. 2.8), and total morphine (17.4 vs. 35.7 mg) were also reduced compared to the standard open group. The complication rate for the minimally invasive patients (6.9%, from 2 iliac crest bone graft site infections) was lower than for patients who underwent open TLIF (13.8%, 1 teleactasis, 2 urinary tract infections, and 1 wound infection). Outcomes (prospectively collected with independent evaluation) at a minimum of 24 month follow-up showed no significant difference between groups in North American Spine Society (NASS) scores (back pain/disability and neurogenic symptoms), the ODI, or the SF-36. No significant differences were observed in fusion rates (80% of minimally invasive and 87% of open procedures achieved grade 1 fusion).
 
Rouben and colleagues assessed 49 month (range, 36 to 60 months) outcomes of single-level or 2-level minimally invasive TLIF in a retrospective review of prospectively collected data (Rouben, 2010).  To be included in the study, patients had to have preoperative and minimum 3 years postoperative ODI and VAS pain scores and imaging studies. Excluded from the study were patients with scoliosis >10 degrees, spondylolisthesis greater than Grade II, preoperative lumbar segment disease in excess of 2 levels, prior lumbar infection, failed lumbar fusion, or psychological factors preventing follow-up. All patients had failed a minimum 3 months of conservative medical management before surgery. A total of 169 patients met the study inclusion criteria with either isolated single-level (n=124) or 2-level (n=45) lumbar intervertebral segment pain. The primary diagnosis was degenerative spondylolisthesis (n=35), central herniated disc (n=41), central stenosis (n=9), Foraminal-lateral herniation of disc (n=53), Foraminal/lateral stenosis (n=12), or isolated degenerative disc or joint disease (n=19). The hospital stay averaged 15 hours and the median return to work time was 8 weeks. Data collection, which included patient reported outcomes, was conducted preoperatively and at 3, 12 and 24 months, and then at yearly visits. Fusion rates (cages were filled with locally harvested autologous bone and off-label use of bone morphogenetic protein) were 96% at 1-year follow-up. The overall rate for repeat surgery was 14.2%, with the most common reason being removal of painful pedicle screws. At the last follow-up, 86% of patients reached a 20% clinical improvement in ODI. The average improvement in VAS pain scores was 31% at the initial follow-up, and was maintained at each subsequent follow-up. Patients with 2-level fusions improved similarly in both ODI and VAS scores as 1-level fusion patients (e.g., range of 66 to 77 at baseline and 26 to 30 at last follow-up. This study has an indeterminate potential for bias, due to the restrictive inclusion criteria (for a retrospective study) and lack of reporting of patients in the series who were lost to follow-up before 3 years.
 
Neal and Rosner studied the learning curve for minimally invasive TLIF for a single U.S. medical resident during his postgraduate year 5 (Neal, 2010). The resident performed 28 procedures with an attending surgeon present during a 19-month period. The accuracy of pedicle screw placement, as determined on postoperative CT scans, was 97% for the first 14 patients and 94% for the next 14 patients (the latter group of patients were believed to include more difficult cases). The 3 misplaced screws were not symptomatic and did not require revision. Excluding 2 cases with Grade III spondylolisthesis, the average operating time was 121 minutes for the first 13 cases and 105 minutes for the second group of cases. A plot of the operative time per level indicated that the operative time plateaued (i.e., time to learn the procedure) at about 15 cases. Additional studies are planned to evaluate a larger number of trainees and to assess the effect of the learning curve on long-term patient outcomes.
 
Lateral Interbody Fusion
The evidence on lateral interbody fusion (e.g., Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion [XLIF] or Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion [DLIF]), as identified in the 2011 literature update, is limited. The majority of studies published to date are recently published small case series (Youssef, 2010).  Studies considered most relevant to this policy are described below.
 
In a 2009 report, Knight and colleagues compared complications from a series of 58 patients who underwent XLIF or DLIF (1- to 3-level) with a historical cohort of patients who underwent open posterolateral lumbar fusion (Knight, 2009). Thirteen patients experienced a mild or major complication. Nine of the complications were approach-related (2 L4 nerve root injuries, 6 cases of meralgia paresthetica, and 1 case of significant psoas muscle spasm). In 4 additional cases, the procedure was aborted because of concerns about nerve proximity. Compared with the historical cohort, there was less blood loss (136 vs. 489 mL), a shorter operative time (161 vs. 200 mins.), similar hospital stay (5 days), and a similar percentage of complications (22.4 vs. 22.5%). Approach-related complications in the open cohort included wound infection and dural tears.
 
In 2010, Isaacs et al reported perioperative outcomes from a prospective multicenter (14 sites) observational study of the XLIF procedure for adult patients with degenerative scoliosis (Isaacs, 2010). A total of herniated disc (n=41), central stenosis (n=9), Foraminal-lateral herniation of disc (n=53), Foraminal/lateral stenosis (n=12), or isolated degenerative disc or joint disease (n=19). The hospital stay averaged 15 hours and the median return to work time was 8 weeks. Data collection, which included patient reported outcomes, was conducted preoperatively and at 3, 12 and 24 months, and then at yearly visits. Fusion rates (cages were filled with locally harvested autologous bone and off-label use of bone morphogenetic protein) were 96% at 1-year follow-up. The overall rate for repeat surgery was 14.2%, with the most common reason being removal of painful pedicle screws. At the last follow-up, 86% of patients reached a 20% clinical improvement in ODI. The average improvement in VAS pain scores was 31% at the initial follow-up, and was maintained at each subsequent follow-up. Patients with 2-level fusions improved similarly in both ODI and VAS scores as 1-level fusion patients (e.g., range of 66 to 77 at baseline and 26 to 30 at last follow-up. This study has an indeterminate potential for bias, due to the restrictive inclusion criteria (for a retrospective study) and lack of reporting of patients in the series who were lost to follow-up before 3 years.
 
Neal and Rosner studied the learning curve for minimally invasive TLIF for a single U.S. medical resident during his postgraduate year 5 (Neal, 2010). The resident performed 28 procedures with an attending surgeon present during a 19-month period. The accuracy of pedicle screw placement, as determined on postoperative CT scans, was 97% for the first 14 patients and 94% for the next 14 patients (the latter group of patients were believed to include more difficult cases). The 3 misplaced screws were not symptomatic and did not require revision. Excluding 2 cases with Grade III spondylolisthesis, the average operating time was 121 minutes for the first 13 cases and 105 minutes for the second group of cases. A plot of the operative time per level indicated that the operative time plateaued (i.e., time to learn the procedure) at about 15 cases. Additional studies are planned to evaluate a larger number of trainees and to assess the effect of the learning curve on long-term patient outcomes.
 
Lateral Interbody Fusion
The evidence on lateral interbody fusion (e.g., Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion [XLIF] or Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion [DLIF]), as identified in the 2011 literature update, is limited. The majority of studies published to date are recently published small case series (Youssef, 2010). Studies considered most relevant to this policy are described below.
 
In a 2009 report, Knight and colleagues compared complications from a series of 58 patients who underwent XLIF or DLIF (1- to 3-level) with a historical cohort of patients who underwent open posterolateral lumbar fusion (Knight, 2009). Thirteen patients (22.4%) experienced a mild or major complication. Nine of the complications were approach-related (2 L4 nerve root injuries, 6 cases of meralgia paresthetica, and 1 case of significant psoas muscle spasm). In 4 additional cases, the procedure was aborted because of concerns about nerve proximity. Compared with the historical cohort, there was less blood loss (136 vs. 489 mL), a shorter operative time (161 vs. 200 mins.), similar hospital stay (5 days), and a similar percentage of complications (22.4 vs. 22.5%). Approach-related complications in the open cohort included wound infection and dural tears.
 
In 2010, Isaacs et al reported perioperative outcomes from a prospective multicenter (14 sites) observational study of the XLIF procedure for adult patients with degenerative scoliosis (Isaacs, 2010). A total of were available from 37 patients (14 DLIF and 23 XLIF). Reasons for imaging included the need for an additional posterior decompression following the anterior procedure or to evaluate patients with recurrent back or radicular pain. Of the 37 cases with post-operative imaging, 8 (22%) were found to be hanging outside of the intervertebral space. Six of the interbody cages (15%) had an anterior overhang, which placed them in the vicinity of the retroperitoneal great vessels. The study concluded that the risk of an excessively long interbody cage is high when relying on antero-posterior fluoroscopy for cage insertion in the anterior third of the disc space. The proportion of cases with an excessively long interbody cage out of the total number of procedures cannot be determined from this report.
 
Searches of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience database (MAUDE; http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMAUDE) identified a number of adverse event reports for NuVasive spinal cage implants, MaXcess XLIF inserter, fiber optic light, and NeuroVision EMG, including instrument malfunction and breakage.
 
Due to limited evidence and concerns about the safety and efficacy of the lateral transpsoas approach, comparative studies are needed.
 
Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion (AxiaLIF)
At the time this policy was created, the published literature reporting patient outcomes for percutaneous axial anterior lumbar interbody fusion was limited to a technical report with presentation of 2 cases and 1 retrospective case series with patients who received AxiaLIF at L5-S1 (Marotta, 2006) (Aryan, 2008).
 
The AxiaLIF 2 level system received premarket notification in April 2008. Aryan and colleagues report on their series of 35 patients with average follow-up of 17.5 months (Aryan, 2008). These patients had pain secondary to lumbar degenerative disc disease, degenerative scoliosis, or lytic spondylolisthesis. In 21 of the patients, the AxiaLIF procedure was followed by percutaneous pedicle screw-rod fixation; 2 patients had extreme lateral interbody fusion combined with posterior instrumentation, and 10 had a stand-alone procedure. Two patients had axial LIF as part of a larger construct after unfavorable anatomy prevented access to the L5-S1 disc space during open lumbar fusion. Radiographic evidence of stable cage placement and fusion was found in 32 patients at last follow-up.
 
In a 2007 review of minimally invasive techniques for lumbar interbody fusion, Shen et al. note that experience with the technique is limited and complication rates are unknown (Shen, 2007).  Complications may include perforation of the bowel and injury to blood vessels and/or nerves as well as infection. They also voiced concerns about the increased need for fluoroscopy and the inability of the surgeon to address intracanal pathology or visualize the discectomy procedure directly. In 2010, Patil and colleagues reported a retrospective review of 50 patients treated with AxiaLIF (Patil, 2010). Four patients (8%) underwent 2-level AxiaLIF and 16 patients (32%) underwent a combination of AxiaLIF with another procedure for an additional level of fusion. There were 3 reoperations due to pseudoarthrosis (n=2) and rectal injury (n=1). Other complications included superficial infection (n=5), hematoma (n=2), and irritation of a nerve root by a screw (n=1). At 12- to 24-month follow-up VAS scores had decreased from 8.1 to 3.6 (n = 48). At an average 12-month follow-up, 47 of 49 patients (96%) with postoperative radiographs achieved solid fusion. There were no significant differences between pre- and postoperative disk space height and lumbar lordosis angle. The 2011 literature update also identified a small case series (n=6) using intraoperative 3-dimensional navigation with AxiaLIF, a case report of removal of the AxiaLIF fixation rod due to pseudoarthrosis, and a case report of high rectal injury during AxiaLIF (Luther, 2009) (DeVine, 2009) (Botolin, 2010).  
 
A search of the FDA’s MAUDE database (http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfMAUDE) in August 2010 identified close to 100 adverse event reports for AxiaLIF, including possible and confirmed bowel injuries. Due to limited evidence and concerns about the safety and efficacy of the axial approach, this procedure does not meet member benefit certificate primary coverage criteria.
 
 
Summary
Current evidence for some minimally invasive/minimal access approaches includes systematic reviews and non-randomized comparative studies. The available evidence including expert opinion suggests that after an initial training period, short to mid-term health outcomes (including complication and fusion rates, pain and function) following minimally invasive anterior, posterior, and transforaminal approaches are comparable to standard open approaches for single-level interbody fusion of the lumbar spine. Intra and peri-operative health outcomes (blood loss and hospital stay) have been shown to be improved.
 
There is insufficient published evidence to evaluate if percutaneous axial lumbar interbody fusion (AxiaLIF) or lateral interbody fusions, which may be called extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) or direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF), are as effective or as safe as other surgical techniques. In addition, there are a relatively large number of adverse event reports in the MAUDE database for percutaneous axial lumbar interbody fusion, which raises the possibility of an increased risk of complications. Additionally, the available evidence suggests the possibility of an increased risk of complications with laparoscopic ALIF.
 
 
Technology Assessments, Guidelines and Position Statements
The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provided guidance on lateral interbody fusion in the lumbar spine in 2009. NICE concluded that current evidence on the safety and efficacy of lateral (including extreme, extra and direct lateral) interbody fusion in the lumbar spine is inadequate in quantity and quality. Therefore this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research.
 
The United Kingdom’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) provided guidance on transaxial interbody fusion in the lumbar spine in 2011. The guidance states that current evidence on the efficacy of transaxial interbody lumbosacral fusion is limited in quantity but shows symptom relief in the short-term in some patients. Evidence on safety shows that there is a risk of rectal perforation. Therefore this procedure should only be used with special arrangements for clinical governance, consent and audit or research. NICE encourages further research into transaxial interbody lumbosacral fusion. Research outcomes should include fusion rates, pain and functional scores, quality of life measures and the frequency of both early and late complications. NICE may review this procedure on publication of further evidence.
 
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons published guidelines for interbody techniques for lumbar fusion in 2005 (Resnick, 2005). There was insufficient evidence to recommend a treatment standard. Minimally invasive procedures were not reviewed.
 
2013 Update
A search of the MEDLINE database through August 2013 did not reveal any new literature that would prompt a change in the coverage statement. Two publications addressing axial LIF are summarized below.
In 2012, Gerszten et al. reported a series of patients who had a minimum 2-year follow-up after axial LIF with percutaneous posterior fixation with pedicle screws for the stabilization of grade 1 or grade 2 lumbosacral isthmic spondylolisthesis Gerszten, 2012). (Treatment of grade 2 spondylolisthesis is an off-label indication.) There were no perioperative procedure-related complications. The spondylolisthesis grade in the 26 consecutive patients was significantly improved at follow-up, with 50% of patients showing a reduction of at least 1 grade. Axial pain severity improved from a VAS score of 8.1 to 2.8, and 81% of patients were considered to have excellent or good results by Odom criteria. At 2 years post-treatment, all patients showed solid fusion.
Marchi and colleagues reported prospective 2-year follow-up on 27 patients who underwent 2-level (L4-5 and L5-S1) axial LIF (Marchi, 2012). Average back pain improved from a VAS score of 8.08 to 4.04 and the ODI improved from 51.7 to 31.4. Although no intraoperative complications occurred, the authors reported that the rod was malpositioned in 3 cases due to difficulty in attaining an adequate route for the double-level access, and in one of these cases, the rod eventually migrated and perforated the bowel. Five patients (18.5%) underwent additional surgery for malpositioned rods, broken posterior screws, failure of the rods, and collapse of spine levels. Total complications observed at follow-up included screw breakage (14.8%), transsacral rod detachment (11.1%), radiolucency around the transsacral rod (52%), and disc collapse with cephalic rod migration (24%). A gain in disc height was observed 1 week after surgery, but by the 24-month follow-up, the disc space was reduced compared to the preoperative state. Only 22% of levels had solid fusion at the 24-month radiologic evaluation, and only 2 patients had solid fusion at both levels.
 
Ongoing Clinical Trials
A search of the clinicaltrials.gov website identified the following ongoing clinical trials:
 
NCT01024699- This is a prospective multi-center randomized trial to evaluate clinical and radiographic outcomes of the XLIF procedure compared with the TLIF procedure in patients with symptomatic lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. The study is ongoing but not currently recruiting patients. The estimated completion date for the study is February 2014.
 
NCT018781749- This study is retrospective observational study designed to evaluate complications of single or multilevel VEO® lateral access and interbody fusion system and extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF®). This study has a start date of June 2013 but is listed as not yet recruiting subjects.
 
NCT01918943- A prospective, observational study assessing the Aspen spinous process fixation system and PLIF technique for the treatment of low back pain. The study study is currently recruiting subjects and has an estimated  completion date of August 2015.
  
2016 Update
A literature search conducted through September 2016 did not reveal any new information that would prompt a change in the coverage statement. The key identified literature is summarized below.
 
Rao and colleagues published a prospective clinical study to compare the clinical and radiological outcomes of ALOF for each surgical indication (Rao, 2015). This prospective clinical study included 125 patients who underwent ALIF over a 2-year period. The patients were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively. Outcome measures included the Short Form-12, Oswestry Disability Index, Visual Analog Scale, and Patient Satisfaction Index. After a mean follow-up of 20 months, the clinical condition of the patients was significantly better than their preoperative status across all indications. A total of 108 patients had a Patient Satisfaction Index score of 1 or 2, indicating a successful clinical outcome in 86%. Patients with degenerative disk disease (with and without radiculopathy), spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis had the best clinical response to ALIF, with statistically significant improvement in the Short Form-12, Oswestry Disability Index, and Visual Analog Scale. Failed posterior fusion and adjacent segment disease showed statistically significant improvement in all of these clinical outcome scores, although the mean changes in the Short Form-12 Mental Component Summary, Oswestry Disability Index, and Visual Analog Scale (back pain) were lower. The overall radiological fusion rate was 94.4%. Superior radiological outcomes (fusion >90%) were observed in patients with degenerative disk disease (with and without radiculopathy), spondylolisthesis, and failed posterior fusion, whereas in adjacent segment disease, it was 80%.
 
Ongoing Clinical Trials
A search of the clinicaltrials.gov website identified the following ongoing clinical trials:
 
Ongoing:
(NCT02290314) Midline Lumbar Fusion Versus Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, planned enrollment 60; projected completion date December 2018.
 
(NCT02617563) A  Prospectice, 5-Year Global Study on MAST™ Minimally Invasive Fusion Procedures for the Treatment of the Degenerative Lumbar Spine (MASTERS-D2); planned enrollment 560; projected completion date 2022.
 
Unpublished:
(NCT01024699) This is a prospective multi-center randomized trial to evaluate clinical and radiographic outcomes of the XLIF procedure compared with the TLIF procedure in patients with symptomatic lumbar degenerative spondylolisthesis. The study is completed with no results published.
 
(NCT01918943) A prospective, observational study assessing the Aspen spinous process fixation system and PLIF technique for the treatment of low back pain. The study is unverified. There was an estimated completion date of August 2015, last verified August 2013.
 
2017 Update
A literature search conducted through September 2017 did not reveal any new information that would prompt a change in the coverage statement.  The key identified literature is summarized below.
 
Isaacs and colleagues published results of a study of two year comparative outcomes of MIS lateral and MIS transforaminal interbody fusion in the treatment of degenerative spondylolisthesis (Isaacs, 2016). The study was a prospective, multicenter, institutional review board approved study with randomized and observational study. A total of 55 patients undergoing surgical treatment for degenerative spondylolisthesis with spinal stenosis at one or two contiguous levels between L1 and L5 were enrolled. Twenty-nine patients were treated with XLIF and 26 patients were treated with MIS TLIF. Disc height was significantly improved from preoperative at all postoperative time points in both groups, though the XLIF group experienced less subsidence and resultant loss of disc height than the MIS TLIF group by 24-month postoperative (P = 0.002). Postoperative change in central canal area was statistically greater in the MIS TLIF compared with the XLIF group (43.1 mmvs. 4.1 mm, P = 0.028). At several postoperative time points, foraminal height and area on the ipsilateral side and foraminal height on the contralateral side to the approach were significantly increased postoperatively in the XLIF group, and the magnitude of ipsilateral height increase was greater than in the MIS TLIF cohort (P < 0.05).Using fusion criteria of <3° range of motion and <3 mm translation on plain radiographs, 100% of patients in both groups were solidly fused at 24-month postoperative. Using computed tomography fusion criteria of presence of intervertebral bridging bone, 100% (32/32) of XLIF levels and 96% (25/26) of MIS TLIF levels were solidly bridged (P = 0.448).
 
2018 Update
A literature search was conducted through September 2018.  There was no new information identified that would prompt a change in the coverage statement.  

CPT/HCPCS:
0195TArthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, disc space preparation, discectomy, without instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed; L5-S1 interspace
0196TArthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, disc space preparation, discectomy, without instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed; L4-L5 interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
0309TArthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft, when performed, lumbar, L4-L5 interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
22558Arthrodesis, anterior interbody technique, including minimal discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression); lumbar
22585Arthrodesis, anterior interbody technique, including minimal discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression); each additional interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)
22586Arthrodesis, pre-sacral interbody technique, including disc space preparation, discectomy, with posterior instrumentation, with image guidance, includes bone graft when performed, L5-S1 interspace
22630Arthrodesis, posterior interbody technique, including laminectomy and/or discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), single interspace; lumbar
22632Arthrodesis, posterior interbody technique, including laminectomy and/or discectomy to prepare interspace (other than for decompression), single interspace; each additional interspace (List separately in addition to code for primary procedure)

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Group specific policy will supersede this policy when applicable. This policy does not apply to the Wal-Mart Associates Group Health Plan participants or to the Tyson Group Health Plan participants.
CPT Codes Copyright © 2019 American Medical Association.