An XLIF is a specific type of lumbar fusion. It is a minimally invasive surgery that is indicated for spinal stenosis, disc herniation, extruded disc fragments, nerve root compression, stenosis, instability of the spine, spondylolithesis, degenerative Disc Disease, internal Disc Derangement, and correction of Spinal Deformities like scoliosis (see before and after pictures below).
This surgery is performed through two small incision located on your side. The surgery is done by placing a small retractor in the incision that will expose the disc and nerve roots. The disc is then able to be removed and the XLIF device, which is like a spacer, is put in its place. The device will increase the disc height therefore opening the foraminal space (the space where the nerve exits the spinal cord). This allows the pressure to be taken off the nerve and in turn decrease nerve pain.
The patient will be up out of bed walking the day of surgery. They will wear a brace whenever out of bed, this includes sitting. The only restriction we have is no lifting, pushing, or pulling more than 10lbs. There are no restrictions with regards to stairs. This will be for about 8 weeks after surgery. We encourage the patient to walk as much as they can tolerate. As each day passes your discomfort will lessen.
Dr. Buckley is the only doctor in Central New York that preforms this procedure. Our office tries to be the most up to date and minimally invasive procedures to our patients.