Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion (LLIF) or Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) is a type of spinal fusion surgery, which connect two or more vertebrae in the spine. This procedure is used to treat spine conditions when more conservative treatments have failed.
The spine is made up of interconnecting pieces of bone called vertebrae. Discs provide cushion between each vertebrae and absorb the shock that comes with movement. The vertebrae and discs form the spinal column, which supports the head and neck and protects the spinal cord, a bundle of nerves which runs from the brain to different parts of the body. Damage, genetics, or wear and tear from aging can cause discs and vertebrae to shift, putting pressure on the spinal cord. Spinal fusion is a treatment option that can help to stabilize the spinal column and alleviate pain for patients.
Lateral lumbar Interbody fusion involves connecting vertebrae found in the lower back (lumbar). To perform this procedure, your doctor will make an incision in your side to access the spine.
Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical technique used to treat:
- Degenerative disk disease
- Herniated disk
- Spinal stenosis