What is extreme lateral interbody fusion? | Dr. Andrew Cash, MD Las Vegas, Nevada
Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) is a newer, minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to get to the spine with little disruption to surrounding connective tissues. It fuses the front section of the spine with the side. Traditional fusion surgeries are more invasive, have greater risk of blood loss, and usually require longer hospitalization or longer physical therapy sessions. However, XLIF can restore disc height with only a small incision along the lateral part of the back (between the lower ribs and pelvis). People living with scoliosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis can all benefit from this procedure.
The surgery involves removing disc material and inserting a spacer made of polyethylene or bone. Once this is placed, the surgeon will monitor movement and make sure the correct placement has been achieved.
Patients are usually up and walking again within the next couple of hours and are usually discharged the next day. Patients can generally go back to work within a couple of weeks. There will also be some physical therapy involved for the patient, and due to the surgery, pain will usually be better, but not totally eliminated.
To find out if you’re a candidate for this operation, contact Dr. Cash at Desert Institute of Spine Care for an appointment at: http://www.disclv.com.