The XLIF Procedure: Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion
XLIF Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion is a minimally invasive fusion in the disc space that obtains the same goals of any conventional interbody fusion from the front or the back of the spine. The XLIF procedure allows access to the spine for fusion with minimal soft tissue disruption and very little blood loss. Using this technique, the spine may be successfully treated from the fifth thoracic level down to the lumbar fifth vertebra. The XLIF approach is safe with much less risk of abdominal and vascular complications that exists with the anterior approach. The spinal canal neurologic contents are not touched or manipulated in any way by this surgery limiting injury to these elements.
XLIF is done with C-arm fluoroscopic imaging and neuro-monitoring. XLIF can be used to treat most spinal conditions requiring bone fusion.
XLIF is a minimally invasive fusion technique designed for people who have lived with back or leg pain over time with failed treatments including cortisone or steroid injections, and physical therapy as well as failed previous surgery.
Benefits include decreased surgery time often done in as little as one hour; decreased blood loss and minimal disruption of adjacent soft tissues, diminished pain after surgery; may require only an overnight stay in the hospital; quick return to activities. People who may be helped by the XLIF procedure are: suffering from worn out or degenerative disc disease with slipping of the bones or instability; recurrent disc herniation with severe radiculopathy pain into the leg; with slipping of the bones or instability after a previous laminectomy; worn out or degenerative disc disease adjacent to a previous fusion; a disc that has slipped over another (spondylolisthesis); with worn out or degenerative scoliosis (curvature of the spine); and with prior fusion surgeries that did not heal (pseudarthrosis).