Minimally Invasive Lateral Interbody Fusion

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Interbody fusion is surgical procedure involving the joining and fixation of bones within the spine. During the surgery, the disc that separates two vertebral bones is removed and replaced with a bone spacer, often containing grafting material. The vertebrae are bound together uses plates, screws and rods, and the grafting material encourages fusion and healing of the vertebrae over time.

Did you know…

that most people who undergo a minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion will experience a better overall recovery experience than those who undergo traditional surgery? The lateral approach to spinal fusion surgery causes very little tissue damage and also minimizes the amount of blood the average patient can lose during the procedure. Furthermore, the smaller incisions mean a shorter hospital stay, less scarring, lower risk of infection, and less pain following the procedure.

How is a lateral spinal fusion performed?

Instead of cutting a large incision in the back, the lateral approach allows the surgeon to make a series of small incisions on the flank area. This bypasses the muscles of the back and allows for direct access to most of the vertebrae and discs within the spine. Because the back muscles remain intact and only small incisions are made along the side, lateral interbody fusion is considered a minimally invasive surgery.

What are the indications for lateral interbody fusion?

Lateral interbody fusion is typically indicated for the treatment of chronic, unresolved back pain caused by degenerative disc disease or spinal deformities, such as scoliosis. It can also be used to treat areas of the spine that have been fractured or affected by spinal tumors.

Who is a candidate for minimally invasive lateral interbody fusion?

Not everyone who needs spinal fusion will qualify for a lateral procedure. For example, this procedure may not be right for patients with lower spine fractures or deformities. Only your surgeon can determine which surgical approach is right for you. For more information about lateral interbody fusion and to find out how you can schedule a consultation, contact our office. We look forward to serving you soon.