Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion (MIS-TLIF, XLIF, ALIF)


What is minimally invasive lumbar fusion?

Minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery is a favorable alternative to traditional open surgery. With minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Remi Ajiboye uses specialized tools to perform an operation through a small incision. Compared to traditional open surgery, minimally invasive surgery (MIS) offers the following advantages:

  • Smaller incisions with less scarring
  • Less damage to surrounding muscles and tissue
  • Less post-surgical pain
  • Easier recovery
  • Less risk for blood loss and infection

Minimally invasive lumbar fusion can be performed front (ALIF), back (TLIF) or side (XLIF) of the spine.

Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) is a minimally disruptive surgical technique in which the surgeon approaches the spine from the side of the patient’s body, rather than the front or back as in traditional spine surgeries. This side (lateral) approach can reduce the risk of injury to muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. The XLIF technique can provide relief to patients who cannot tolerate traditional open back surgery due to increased risks of longer anesthesia time, greater blood loss, longer hospitalization, and slower recovery.  

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) allow access to the discs at the front of the spine and do not require muscle stripping as in approaches from the back of the spine. ALIF provides a clear and uncomplicated approach to the lumbar spine and patients tend to experience less incisional pain from this approach compared to the traditional open approach to the spine from the back.

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (MIS-TLIF) is a minimally disruptive approach to traditional open back surgery. In MIS-TLIF, rather than starting from the center of the back and spreading the muscles outward, the surgical approach starts at an angle to the spine and bluntly splits (rather than cuts) back muscles on just one side. By minimizing the amount of muscle tissue disruption, this procedure leads to faster recovery and shorter hospital stays by reducing pain, scarring, and bleeding often seen in traditional open back surgeries.


Although spine surgery sounds daunting, minimally invasive techniques and Dr. Remi Ajiboye’s expert hands make the operation as uncomplicated as possible.

If you’re looking for a leading spine surgeon in the El Segundo or Torrance, California, area, contact Dr. Remi Ajiboye’s office online or over the phone to set up a consultation.


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