Extreme Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
Extreme lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) or direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) is a surgical procedure indicated in various spine conditions. Some of the conditions where XLIF is performed include disc degenerative disease, recurrent disc herniation, degenerative spondylolisthesis, degenerative scoliosis, and pseudoarthrosis.
The XLIF® Procedure
After you have been positioned, an X-ray will be taken to help your doctor precisely locate the operative space. In this minimally invasive procedure you will be made to sleep on your side and the surgery is performed from side of the body. Your surgeon makes two incisions one over the side of waist and the other towards the back muscles. Your surgeon will use the latest instrumentation to access the spine in a minimally disruptive manner. Disc preparation is the next step. This is done by removing the disc tissue which will allow the bones to be fused together. Several X-rays will be taken during this stage to ensure the preparation is correct. Once the disc has been prepared, the surgeon will then place a stabilizing implant into the space to restore the disc height and enable the spine to once again support necessary loads. Once in position, a final X-ray will be taken to confirm correct implant placement. In the event that further stabilization is necessary, the surgeon may choose to insert additional screws, rods, or plates into the vertebrae.
The XLIF procedure involves minimal muscle disruption and offers less painful post-operative recovery. Also this procedure minimizes the hospital stay and patient may have faster recovery.