What is XLIF?

Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) is an innovative spine surgery that reaches the spine from the side (lateral). Back pain can be debilitating and life changing. The doctors of Plano Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Center, serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area for over 40 years, provide a broad range of orthopedic care and procedures. The Center’s doctors will work with you to diagnose and recommend treatments. Sometimes, patients with significant back pain don’t respond well to initial treatments like pain medication, physical therapy and steroid treatment. If that has been your experience, you may be a candidate for XLIF surgery.

Minimally Invasive

XLIF is sometimes a good choice for troubling back pain. Other procedures get to the spine from the front or back. The surgeon endoscopically reaches problem spinal disks. XLIF is considered minimally invasive because it avoids nerves and has less impact on muscle tissue, ligaments and bones. The procedure treats long-term back pain that has not responded well to other treatments.

The advantages of the procedure over traditional surgeries are many. The XLIF surgery is often completed in under an hour. Meaning you will have less time under anesthesia, little scarring and less blood loss. Pain is lessened with the procedure, and your hospital stay may be less than two days. One of the best advantages over traditional back surgeries is patients return to normal activities sooner.

The Procedure

XLIF requires general anesthesia. Your surgeon will locate the damaged disk with an X-ray device. Two small incisions will be made once under sedation and moved on your side. One incision is made for a nerve monitor (electromyography) to prevent damage. The second incision is where the surgeon will insert the instruments. Then, “tubular dilators” are guided to the damaged disk, and a tissue retractor is inserted over the dilators.

With the incision widened, the surgeon will see the disk with an inserted light. After removing the disk, the surgeon will place a bone graft containing implant for fusion. The X-ray device assures the implant is positioned correctly. Sometimes, depending on the severity, the surgeon will place rods, plates or screws to stabilize the implant, if needed. Then the incisions will be sutured and bandaged.

Your Recovery

The Minimally Invasive XLIF causes less tissue damage, so recovery is shorter than traditional back surgery. The orthopedic team will assess your condition and make appropriate recommendations. The best course for recovery will depend on other health conditions and the extent of the surgery. You likely will be home in less than two days and be back to regular activity in a reasonable time.

Back Pain Relief

Plano Orthopedic specializes in orthopedic treatments for the full range of bone and joint ailments or injuries. The 11 board-certified physicians specialize in specific areas within orthopedics. From surgery to rehabilitation, and from sports medicine to physical medicine, you’re in accomplished and experienced hands. If you are considering XLIF surgery for back pain, the Plano Orthopedic team will be with you all the way.

Call POSMC today!

To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!

Plano Orthopedic Spine Treatment

Doctors Who Treat Spine

To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists listed below please contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.

Dr. Kenneth S. Dauber

Physical Medicine, Spine, Hip and
Conservative Spine Care
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Dr. Daniel Sunwoo

Physical Medicine and Spine
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