Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves accessing the lumbar spine from the side. It is an alternative to traditional open-back surgery and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon makes small incisions in the patient's side and uses special instruments to reach the lumbar spine. The goal of XLIF surgery is to relieve pain by treating spinal disorders and stabilizing the spine.
If you or someone you know is considering XLIF surgery, read on for everything you need to know about the procedure.
XLIF surgery is used to treat conditions that could not be treated with conservative methods (such as steroid injections, physical therapy, pain medication, etc.) and has continued to cause pain to the patient. These include:
After having you go through the pre-surgical tests, the staff at the doctor's clinic will let you know the date and time for your surgery. You might want to read this guide on how to prepare for back surgery for a step-by-step guide to help you with preparing for XLIF surgery.
XLIF surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed through small incisions on the patient’s side. The procedure starts with giving anesthesia to the patient. When the patient is asleep, the surgeon will access the spine by going between the patient’s ribs. To locate the damaged area, the doctor examines the X-ray reports. Once the surgeon has access to the spine, they will remove any herniated discs or other debris that may be causing pain. Since in the XLIF procedure the surgeon works very close to the nerves in the spine, Electromyography EMG is used that guides the surgeon about his/her instrument position with respect to the nerves in the spine. It helps to avoid any further damage to the already damaged spinal column. Removing a part of the spine creates space within the vertebrae that is filled by placing a bone graft. Depending upon the number of discs removed and the overall shape of the spine, additional screws, plates, and rods can also be used. This keeps the spine stable and prevents future injuries. The surgery usually takes about two hours to complete.
XLIF surgery is a newer, minimally invasive alternative to traditional spine surgery. Unlike other spine surgeries, XLIF does not require any large incisions or cutting of muscles and tissues. Instead, the surgeon accesses the spine through small incisions in the side of the patient's body. This results in less pain and a quicker healing time for the patient. XLIF is also successful in treating a variety of different spinal conditions, whereas other surgeries may only be effective for certain types of conditions. Some salient upsides to XLIF surgery include;
Most people who have XLIF surgery experience a quick and easy recovery. However, as with any surgical procedure, there are a few things you should expect and be aware of during your recovery. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Although XLIF surgery is a safe surgical procedure, there do exist some risks when taking it up. Following is a list of some potential risks in an XLIF surgery;
In case you have been experiencing back pain and looking for minimally invasive surgical treatment for it, we are here to help. Southern California Brain & Spine Surgery is among the best spine care facilities in Los Angeles treating patients with spine problems for more than 10 years. Dr. Moksha Ranasinghe is the lead neurosurgeon here who is a top-rated spine surgeon in Los Angeles on websites like Yelp, findatopdoc.com, Google Businesses, and Healthgrades. You can schedule an appointment with her by filling out the contact form or calling (213)-369 4583.