Traditional Approach to Spinal Fusion Surgery
A spinal fusion surgery should not be approached lightly because this a permanent procedure and could lead to further complications down the road. The reason why spinal surgery is performed is to correct stability problems that may have developed in the spinal column. For instance, if your back pain is caused by an abnormal motion in the spine, you may consider surgery to fuse the motion segment causing your pain. Yes, spinal fusion will stop the pain, but there are minimally invasive surgical options that you should consider when you are deciding on the best procedure.
XLIF Surgery, a Minimal Approach to Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion surgery has been performed for over one hundred years. Different methods and approaches to the spine have been devised over the years, but by far the most progressive form of fusion comes in XLIF Surgery.
XLIF Surgery - Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion, the Procedure
The approach to the patients spine is taken through small incisions on their side. Under the guidance of X-Rays, a dilator is inserted between the patients abdomen and spinal muscles. Neuromonitoring tests the nerves throughout the procedure to make sure that no harm comes to them. This allows the surgeon to constantly be aware of the nerve’s position in relation to his instruments.
Once the dilator is precisely positioned, a retractor is put into place so that the surgeon can approach the target disc. With this direct access, the surgeon is able to remove the target disc material and after the disc material is removed, an implant is inserted through the same lateral incision. A spacer cage is then used to help hold the vertebrae in the proper position to make sure the disc height is correct and the spine is properly aligned. This spacer, together with the bone graft, will allow the spine to fuse.
Sometimes, depending on the diagnosis of the condition, additional support is needed to hold the vertebrae in place during the surgery. In this case, the surgeon may also decide to put in additional implants, such as screws, plates or rods for added support.
As you can see, minimally invasive XLIF spinal fusion surgery is by far the better choice when considering spinal fusion surgery. The only factor that should play a role in your decision is whether or not your condition is treatable through XLIF surgery. Do you know what Condition you are suffering from? It only requires a few minutes of your time to try our online diagnosis tool. Take the first steps to a pain free future by clicking here.