Lateral Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Lateral Lumbar Spinal Fustion performed in Southern California

A lateral lumbar spinal fusion is different from an anterior or posterior spinal fusion in that the surgeon approaches the surgery from the side of the body as opposed to the front (anterior) or back (posterior). This approach is considered to be minimally invasive in that it does not involve the retraction or rearrangement of any major blood vessels or major organs. Additionally, utilizing this minimally invasive approach ensures minimal blood loss and tissue damage, smaller incisions and scars, faster recovery time, shorter rehabilitation time, and less post-operative pain and discomfort.
Lateral lumbar spinal fusion is generally performed to treat pain incurred from damaged discs, degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and other deformities, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis. In between each vertebrae are discs, made up of a tough outer layer and soft, gel-like inner layer. As the vertebrae compress due to age or condition, these discs extend outward and can compress or irritate the nerves of the spine. Lateral lumbar spinal fusion will not only remove the damaged disc material, but also fuse together the vertebrae of the spine, restoring them to their original height.
Lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is also known as eXtreme lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) and direct lumbar interbody fusion (DLIF).
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia and while the patient is lying on their side. The surgeon will make a small incision into the patient’s side and, using real-time imaging technology, remove the damaged portion of the disc that is compressing or irritating the nerves of the spine. An implant is then placed to stabilize the vertebrae and re-establish their appropriate height. If required, the surgeon may also place medical grade screws, metal plates, or rods along the vertebrae for additional stability and support.
Following surgery, the patient will be instructed on limitations, physical therapy, and low impact exercise. ONE® Brain & Spine Center® use precise methods to ensure total safety and accuracy during surgery. Residents of Irvine can easily schedule an appointment at our Center, today.
Key Terms:
Lateral: from the side
Lumbar: the lower portion of the spine, the low back
Fusion: procedure in which two or more of the spinal vertebrae are connected to prevent movement between them
XLIF: eXtreme lumbar interbody fusion
DLIF: direct lateral interbody fusion
LLIF: lateral lumbar interbody fusion
ONE® Brain & Spine Center® in Southern California is the leader in innovative and comprehensive treatment and care for neurological, brain, back, neck, and spine disorders. Call (949) 383-4190 or Contact Us for appointment.