OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) using single incision via MAST Quadrant retractor in the management of lumbar spondylolisthesis. METHODS From July 2008 to June 2009, 20 cases of lumbar spondylolisthesis were treated with posterior lumbar interbody fusion via MAST Quadrant retractor using single incision, including 2 cases of degenerative spondylolisthesis and 18 cases of isthmic spondylolisthesis. There were 8 males and 12 females aged from 34 to 62 years (average 45.5 years). The disease course was 1 to 6 years (mean 34.5 months). The spondylolisthesis locations were L4, 5 in 8 cases and L5, S1 in 12 cases. According to Meyerding classification, all cases were classified as degree I. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) score was (6.6 +/- 1.2) points. The operative time, the blood loss, and the therapeutic effects were recorded. RESULTS The operative time was (155 +/- 23) minutes and the amount of blood loss was (360 +/- 102) mL. The hospitalization time were (12.0 +/- 3.4) days. All incisions healed by first intention. X-ray films showed spondylolisthesis reduction immediately after operation. All patients were followed up 14.3 months on average (from 9 to 20 months). The VAS score decreased to (1.6 +/- 2.3) points at the last follow-up, showing significant difference when compared with that of preoperation (P < 0.05). The X-ray films showed that lumbar interbody fusion was achieved in all the patients. No loosening, breakage, and displacement of pedicle screw fixation was observed. According to Nakai standard, the results were excellent in 18 cases and good in 2 cases at the last follow-up. CONCLUSION As long as the indication is strictly chosen, PLIF via MAST Quadrant retractor is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive surgical technique in treating lumbar spondylolisthesis.