As leaders in minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Bae and his team of world class surgeons provide patients with spinal treatments that result in less surgery time, blood and scarring, as well as reduced pain, shorter hospital stay and quicker return to normal activities. Their experience and expertise with minimally invasive surgery has been highlighted in renowned medical journals, national spinal conventions including annual presentations at the North American Spine Society conference.
Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) is a minimally invasive procedure for reducing long-term neck or back pain, generally caused by degenerative disc disease. The procedure is performed through two small incisions in the patient’s side, avoiding and sparing the major muscles of the back, as well as ligaments and bones. Using advanced nerve monitoring technology and special instruments, the damaged disc will be removed and an implant filled with bone graft will be placed into the empty disc space. This will help realign the vertebral bones and lift pressure from nerve roots that are pinched. The bone graft will grow around the above and below vertebrae for fusion. Depending on the patient’s condition, screws, plates and rods may also be used to support and stabilize the fusion.
As with any type of spinal fusion surgery, the results and recovery time will vary from patient to patient. However, many patients notice immediate symptom relief in the immediate period following surgery. Because the XLIF procedure is minimally invasive, most patients will be able to walk the evening of surgery and can be discharged from the hospital the same or following day. Time required at the hospital will however increase if the patient had multiple levels of vertebrae fused. There may also be pain at the incision site, which will decrease over time. The doctor will likely prescribe pain medications to help control any additional pain or discomfort. The timeframe in which patients can return to work and normal activities will be different for each individual, with most returning to their normal activities within a few months of the extreme lateral interbody fusion surgery.
All surgical procedures carry risks such as infection, blood clotting and complications due to anesthesia. These, along with muscle weakness, nerve or spinal cord damage, failure of implant to fuse and progression of original spinal condition are other possible risks of XLIF surgery. Patients should discuss risks with their physician or surgeon as patients that are more informed are less anxious and apprehensive with their surgery, feelings that also help to promote successful outcomes.
If you suffer from back or neck pain, you have options. At The Spine Institute Center for Spinal restoration, our team of surgeons has one goal: to provide you with the most appropriate treatment plan or option to help you minimize symptoms. Whether minimally invasive fusion offers the best chance for a positive outcome or you are a good candidate for non-fusion spine surgery, we’ll help you meet your goal of living a pain-free life. To request more information or to schedule a consultation, call (310)828-7757 today.