If you’ve tried all non-surgical options to help resolve your lower back issues but still can’t find relief, you may be a candidate for a XLIF or OLIF – Extreme Lateral or Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion.
A spinal fusion helps relieve pain, correct deformities, or resolve stability issues in the spine by connecting two or more vertebrae together. XLIF and OLIF are both surgical processes that can benefit patients in several ways.
XLIF – eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion
The XLIF approach to spinal fusions allows your surgeon to access your spine from the side of your body instead of from the front or back. Unlike traditional fusion surgeries, this procedure is minimally invasive and allows your neurosurgeon to avoid major nerves and muscle areas they would normally encounter during standard procedures.
XLIF is only available for fusion surgery on the lumbar spine, commonly known as the lower back.
What Does XLIF Treat?
Patients with lower back issues could benefit from the XLIF technique, especially if they suffer from:
- Herniated discs
- Degenerative disc disease
What Are the Benefits to XLIF?
XLIF offers a more minimally invasive way for your doctor to complete the fusion process, leaving you with:
- Reduced scarring
- Reduced tissue damage
- Less discomfort
- Faster recovery
XLIF also helps minimize the threat of nerve or muscle damage during surgery since major nerves and muscles will be avoided.
Oblique Lateral Interbody Fusion
Much like XLIF, the OLIF approach bypasses traditional incision sites for spinal fusion, protecting you from certain surgical risks. OLIF allows your surgeon to approach the lumbar spine from the side, avoiding the major nerves and muscles present at traditional surgery sites.
OLIF is also just for patients with issues in their lumbar spine.
What Does OLIF Treat?
OLIF is a beneficial surgery option for patents with:
- Vertebrae fractures
- Disc herniations
- Degenerative Disc Disease
What Are the Benefits to OLIF?
Similar to XLIF, this procedure avoids riskier incision sites and allows for:
- Minimized scarring
- Minimized blood loss
- Minimized tissue damage
- Reduced post-surgery discomfort
- Shorter recovery time