(DLIF) Direct Lumbar Interbody Fusion


Direct Lumbar Interbody Fusion

For a minimally invasive DLIF procedure, the patient is positioned on their side on the operating table.  Using an x-ray machine, ensures proper positioning of the vertebra(e) to be treated.  A small incision is made in the skin in the patient’s side, over the midsection of the disc.  A series of tubular dilators is inserted through the soft tissues and fibers of the psoas muscle to create a tiny “tunnel” through which the surgeon may view the spine and perform surgery. Using minimally invasive surgical techniques, a narrow passageway is created through the underlying soft tissues and the psoas muscle — gently separating the fibers of the psoas muscle rather than cutting through it — directly to the vertebra(e) and disc to be treated. During this step, a neuromonitoring device is used to identify the location of and protect spinal nerve roots.  Through this tubular “portal”, your surgeon will remove all or part of the affected disc (discectomy).  The bone surfaces of the adjacent vertebrae are prepared for fusion.  An interbody device and bone graft are then inserted into the disc space to promote fusion.  The tubular portal is removed and the incision is closed.  It may be necessary to place pedicle screws and rods in the patient’s back using minimally invasive techniques. This instrumentation is intended to provide additional stabilization while the bone heals or “fuses.”

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