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.
Can an XLIF® be right for me?
If you require spinal surgery, Dr Remi Ajiboye may determine that the XLIF procedure is a good option for you. Some examples of pathologies (conditions) that may benefit from the XLIF procedure include:
- Degenerated discs and/or facet joints that cause unnatural motion and pain
- Slippage of one vertebra over another (degenerative spondylolisthesis)
- Change in the normal curvature of the spine (degenerative scoliosis)
What are the potential benefits of an XLIF® procedure?
Benefits of an XLIF procedure, when compared to traditional lumbar interbody fusion surgery, may include:
- Smaller incision
- Less blood loss during surgery
- Reduced operative time
- Reduced hospital stay
- Reduced postoperative recovery time
After you are sedated, positioned on your side, and surrounded by the appropriate surgical draping, an x-ray image is taken of your spine to identify the location of the operative disc space.
Step 1: Approach
Dr Remi Ajiboye will make a small incision on the lateral (side) of your body. Dilators will be used to direct the path to the affected disc space while monitoring the local nerves. Once the optimal path has been determined, a retractor will be utilized to hold the skin incision open, providing access and visibility to the affected area.
Step 2: Disc removal
The diseased or damaged disc is removed to reduce pressure from the cord or symptomatic nerve root.
Step 3: Implant
Minimally disruptive retractor
An appropriate implant will be placed into the disc space to restore the proper disc height and provide support while bone grows between the vertebral bodies during the fusion (bone-healing) process. That segment of your spine will eventually stabilize once fusion occurs.
Step 4: Fixation
Generally, some method of internal fixation will be used to act as a stabilization device (internal brace) to help hold everything in place while fusion occurs.
Dr Remi Ajiboye may determine that an XLIF procedure is not a good option for you but will the best course of treatment for you
With minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Remi Ajiboye uses specialized tools to perform an operation through a small incision. This results in faster recovery and less pain compared to the traditional ways of performing spinal surgery.
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.
Dr Remi Ajiboye is a minimally invasive spine specialist serving Torrance, California, El Segundo and the surrounding communities of Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills, Lomita, Carson, Lawndale, Gardena, Hawthorne, and greater Los Angeles. Contact Remi Ajiboye, MD, online or over the phone to set up an appointment.