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XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) - Minimally Dispruptive Spinal Surgical Procedure

At Randolph Health Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, we are committed to offering our patients the latest, cutting edge procedures. That’s why we are excited to now offer XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) minimally disruptive spinal surgical procedure through our practice.

The XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) is an approach to spinal fusion in which the surgeon accesses the intervertebral disc space and fuses the lumbar spine (low back) using a surgical approach from the side (lateral) rather than from the front (anterior) or the back (posterior).

What Is XLIF?

XLIF is a minimally invasive procedure performed through the side of the body to treat spinal disorders and reduce long-term back or leg pain that has not responded to other treatments, such as steroid injections, physical therapy and pain medication. Using this approach, the surgeon accesses the intervertebral disc space and fuses the lumbar spine, avoiding any major nerves in the area between the incision and the column.

What Are My Treatment Options?

Many spine symptoms may be treated without surgery via methods that involve medication, rest, heat, and physical therapy. However, if your symptoms do not improve with other methods, spinal surgery may be your best option. Surgery is reserved for those who do not gain relief from nonoperative forms of treatment, patients whose symptoms are increasing or worsening, and/or patients that present with a spinal condition that indicates the need for surgery.

Is XLIF Right For Me?

If you require spinal surgery, your surgeon might determine that the XLIF procedure is the right option for you. Some examples of conditions that may be ideal for the XLIF procedure include:

  • Degenerated discs and/or facet joints that cause unnatural motion and pain

  • Slippage of one vertebra over another (Degenerative spondylolisthesis secondary to advanced degenerative disc disease)

  • Change in the normal curvature of the spine (Degenerative scoliosis secondary to advanced degenerative disc disease)

What Are The Advantages Of XLIF

XLIF is a minimally invasive type of spine surgery designed to accomplish a spinal fusion with several advantages including:

  • Less surgery time. XLIF can be completed in as little as an hour, reducing the time the patient is in surgery and under anesthesia.

  • Minimal tissue damage.

  • Minimal blood loss. Minimally invasive procedures result in less tissue disruption and reduced blood loss.

  • Small incisions and scars.

  • Less pain and minimal post-operative discomfort. Because the surgeon accesses the intervertebral disc space from the patient's side, XLIF does not disrupt sensitive back muscles, bones or ligaments. Many patients are able to walk the same day after surgery.

  • Shorter hospital stay. In some cases, XLIF requires only an overnight hospital stay, compared to several days of immobility and hospitalization after traditional procedures.

  • Relatively quick recovery time and return to normal function. Patients usually walk the day of surgery, although full recovery takes a few months, compared to six months or more for traditional procedures.

Are There Risks Involved?

Keep in mind that all surgical procedures present risks and complications that are important to discuss with your surgeon prior to your surgery. But we will guide you through the entire process, both before and after surgery, helping to ensure the best possible outcome from your procedure.

Potential risks following XLIF surgery include: problems with anesthesia, infection, nerve damage, problems with the graft or hardware, and ongoing pain. This is not intended to be a complete list of the possible complications, but we’d be happy to discuss all potential risks with you before making a decision.

Call us today at 336-626-2688 to schedule an appointment with one of our providers to discuss options.

The XLIF Procedure is Performed By:

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Dr. Shakeel Durrani

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Brad Harper, PA-C

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