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Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion Clearwater

XLIF Treatment for Back Pain

As a minimally invasive procedure, XLIF provides relief to patients who cannot tolerate a larger, open back surgery because of the increased risks that come along with it.

It is also less invasive alternative for patients who have lived with back or leg pain through years of failed treatments, including steroid injections, physical therapy, and pain medication.

In addition to alleviating neural compression, this surgery also immobilizes the fused section of the spine so that pain caused by movement is reduced or eliminated.

It is also beneficial because it may allow for less tissue trauma, less scarring, shorter hospital stays and less postoperative discomfort, resulting in a decreased need for post-operative pain medication.

This procedure is used only in the lumbar spine fusing one or more lumbar vertebra and removing the discs between them. It cannot treat conditions at the lowest level of the spine, L5-S1 or for some people at L4-L5.

If you're interested in learning more about lateral lumbar interbody fusion, contact our office to schedule a consultation.

Is a Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion Right for Me?

Signs that you may benefit from a lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) procedure include:

  • Chronic Lower Back Pain: Persistent lower back pain that does not respond to conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medication, or injections may indicate the need for surgical intervention.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: If you have degenerative disc disease characterized by the breakdown of spinal discs, resulting in pain, instability, and reduced mobility, XLIF may provide relief by stabilizing the affected segment of the spine.
  • Spinal Instability: Instability of the lumbar spine due to conditions like spondylolisthesis or vertebral fractures may benefit from XLIF, as the procedure helps restore stability and alignment by fusing adjacent vertebrae.
  • Nerve Compression: Symptoms of nerve compression, such as radiating leg pain (sciatica), numbness, tingling, or weakness, may be alleviated by decompressing the affected nerves through XLIF surgery.
  • Failed Previous Surgery: Individuals who have undergone previous spinal surgery with unsatisfactory results or recurrent symptoms may find relief through XLIF as a revision procedure to address persistent issues and achieve better outcomes.

Lateral Interbody Fusion Procedure

In a lateral lumbar interbody fusion, the surgeon takes a side approach rather than the traditional front or back incision. Using this approach, the surgeon can reach the vertebrae and intervertebral disks without moving the nerves or opening up muscles in the back.

A fusion involves the removal of the disc causing nerve impingement (a discectomy), and then the fusion of the two vertebrae on either side of the disc space with bone grafts and hardware such as a metal, plastic, or bone spacer implanted between the two adjoining vertebrae.

These spacers, or “cages,” usually contain bone graft material which promotes bone healing and facilitates the fusion.

After the cage is inserted, the spine is stabilized using metal screws, plates, and rods.

The XLIF procedure includes the use of advanced nerve monitoring system (EMG) and allows the surgeon to have accurate, reproducible, real-time feedback about nerve health, location, and function, reducing the incidence of nerve injury during surgery.

Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our spine surgeons today. Learn more about whether the lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedure in Clearwater is for you.