What is an MIS lateral interbody fusion procedure?

The MIS lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) procedure is a minimally disruptive surgical procedure performed through the side of the body. It is designed to treat a range of spinal pathologies. Using patented nerve monitoring technology, the surgeon gains lateral (side) access to the spinal column, avoiding any major nerves in the area between the incision and the column. The LLIF procedure does not require an anterior (front) or posterior (back) exposure, and thereby does not present the same risks of vascular and/or neural injury as traditional approaches. What are my treatment options? Many spine symptoms may be treated without surgery via methods that involve medication, rest, heat, and physical therapy. It is important that you speak to your physician about the best options for you. If your symptoms do not improve with other methods, your physician may suggest spinal surgery. Surgery is reserved for those who do not gain relief from nonoperative forms of treatment, patients whose symptoms are increasing or worsening, and/or patients that present with a spinal condition that indicates the need for surgery.

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Is LLIF right for me?

If you require spinal surgery, your physician may determine that the LLIF procedure is the right option for you. Some examples of pathologies (conditions) that may be ideal for the LLIF procedure include:

  • Degenerated discs and/or facet joints that cause unnatural motion and pain (Slippage of one vertebra over another)
  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis secondary to advanced degenerative disc disease
  • Change in the normal curvature of the spine (Degenerative scoliosis secondary to advanced degenerative disc disease)

Conversely, your physician may determine that an LLIF procedure is not a good option for you. It is important to discuss this with your physician in order to determine the best course of treatment for you.

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