Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®)
What is XLIF®?
An XLIF® is a procedure to fuse vertebrae in the lumbar spine together. Sometimes, the best way to fuse lumbar vertebrae together is from a "lateral" approach. The patient is placed onto his or her side, and a small incision is made directly over the side of the spine.
Dr. Bjerke performs a "minimally invasive" approach, sparing abdominal muscles and using neuromonitoring to ensure that nerves are protected throughout surgery. X-rays are used to guide a "cage" into the intervertebral disc space.
Often, an additional minimally invasive operation is needed in the back to stabilize the vertebrae together, or remove bone and sometimes "decompress" the spinal canal.