About Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusions
(ALIF, PLIF, TLIF, ILIF)
What is it and how is it performed?
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion Overview
Minimally invasive spinal fusion treats a diseased or damaged intervertebral disc. The procedure is an excellent alternative to traditional open incision surgery. The unique approach creates less surgical trauma while still accomplishing the same surgical goal. Spine and extremity pain are dramatically reduced shortly after the procedure.
How is minimally invasive spinal fusion performed?
Minimally invasive spinal fusion is usually performed as an inpatient procedure. A board-certified anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia to make sure the patient is completely asleep before the procedure begins. A CONA specialist:
- Gently retracts soft tissues to expose the disc
- Carefully removes the disc
- Inserts and fixates a cage implant packed with bone graft into the intervertebral space
Absorbable sutures close tissue layers and removable ones close the skin. A sterile dressing is placed over the surgical site. Total procedure time is approximately 1-2 hours.
What conditions can minimally invasive spinal fusion treat?
Minimally invasive spinal fusion may be recommended to treat:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
The procedure is usually only recommended when these conditions and their symptoms do not respond to nonsurgical treatment options.
What are minimally invasive spinal fusion advantages?
Minimally invasive spinal fusion has several distinct advantages:
- Less postoperative pain
- Shorter hospital stay
- Better response to physical therapy
- Quicker recovery
Additionally, there are four unique minimally invasive spinal fusion approaches that can be made:
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Interlaminar lumbar interbody fusion (ILIF)
Each approach has its own advantages. A CONA spine specialist uses an approach that is best for the patient’s condition. The surgical outcome is the same for all approaches. Bone graft fuses with the bone to form a single solid vertebra that does not cause pain.
What is minimally invasive spinal fusion recovery like?
A 1-3 night overnight hospital stay is necessary. Patients rest in a comfortable private hospital room while their discomfort is monitored and infection precautions are taken. Patients see their CONA specialist 2 weeks, 1, 3, 6, 8 and 12 months after surgery. Specific recovery instructions are given during the hospital stay and follow-up appointments.
Make an Appointment
with A Spine Specialist
Minimally invasive spine fusion is an excellent procedure that benefits many patients. Please make an appointment with a CONA specialist to find out if you are a surgical candidate.
what Our Patients Are Saying
Read Their Success Stories
I am happy with this practice all my questions are answered within 24 hours. Dr. Hoenig is great, his bedside manner is wonderful, he is very thorough, and makes personal calls after surgery to check on patients. I would definitely recommend to family and friends!
This has been one of my most positive experiences at a Dr's office. I was treated with respect and love. They made my surgical procedure less stressful and very positive.
These are the best group of doctors that myself & my family have ever been treated by in this field of medicine. They listen to how you feel instead of telling you how you feel. Thank you all for your caring & kindness.