Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
Neurosurgeons and orthopaedic spine surgeons are performing an advanced, minimally invasive procedure though the patient’s side to provide relief to those suffering from back pain. An estimated 10 million adults experience chronic back pain – a condition that can limit their daily activities dramatically.
This advanced surgical procedure, called Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF), is an alternative to traditional spinal fusion. This technology allows surgeons to perform spinal fusion through a minimally invasive approach that causes less disruption to surrounding soft tissue (such as muscle). Recovery is faster than traditional or open spine surgery.
During the XLIF procedure, the spine is accessed through the patient’s side, or laterally, at a 90-degree angle to the spine. This approach avoids injuring major muscles and tissues in the back that the surgeon traditionally has to cut through to access the spine.
A special surgical retractor creates a portal to the disc space through a very small incision. Neuro-physiological monitoring is used by the surgeon to avoid nerves during the surgery. Surgeons remove the diseased or herniated disc material, size the disc space, and prepare the vertebral endplates to hold the polymer implant within the disc space. This enhances the fusion.
Other benefits of the XLIF approach are less blood loss and faster patient recovery. Patients can walk soon after surgery, and do not need back braces post-operatively. Typical recovery is four to six weeks.
Patients who have degenerated disc problems from L1 to L5 are eligible for this surgery. It also works well for revision surgery and for those with adult degenerative scoliosis and degenerative disc disease. Patients with tumors or infections are not eligible.
Call 215-481-BONE today to find a neurosurgeon or orthopaedic spine surgeon.