XLIF: Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion

The back and spine of our bodies play an important role in how we function day to day. When these areas of our bodies experience trouble, we can be very limited in the various types of activities we may perform everyday. Many people rely on their body to be physically capable in order for them to make a living.

In the year 2007 alone, it was estimated that a total of 11% of adults in the United States experience back and spinal problems. Most are mild cases that can be treated with medication or physical therapy, however in severe cases surgical procedures may be required. One of the procedures involved remedying severe spinal problems is known as XLIF.

“XLIF” is an acronym that is short for “Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion as it a spinal fusion procedure. When surgeons carry out this procedure, they access the inter vertebral disc space and fuse the lumbar spine from the side (hence lateral) rather than operating from the front (known medically as anterior) or the back (medically known as posterior). By operating from the lateral side, the procedure becomes both less invasive and complex.

These factors decrease the overall risk of complication to occur during surgery. In addition, operating a spinal fusion from the lateral side also means that the recovery time post surgery is much faster making this an optimal and highly preferred procedure.

Who should receive XLIF?

This procedure can be used on patients who suffer from spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the vertebra on the spinal chord), scoliosis, lumbar degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and other various lumbar disorders. It is imperative that patients consult their doctor and review all of their options thoroughly before making a committed decision to undergo XLIF. It must be decided on a case by case scenario.

In conclusion, the XLIF (Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) is an effective procedure to combat the rise of back and spinal pains. In addition to being minimally invasive, it also speeds up recovery time. This procedure is optimal for those with a wide variety of back and spinal proble