Examples of Lumbar Fusion

Lumbar lateral interbody fusion (LLIF) is one of the most prominent techniques used in minimally invasive spinal surgery. With this approach to spinal fusion, access to the affected region is accomplished without the typical risks associated with open back surgery. There are three primary types of interbody fusion:

  • Anterior Lumbar Interior Fusion (ALIF): ALIF involves approaching the spine from the front of the body through an incision in the patient’s abdomen.
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF): PLIF involves approaching the spine through an incision in the patient’s back over the vertebrae to be treated.
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF): TLIF involves approaching the spine from the side through an incision in the patient’s back.

The location of the damaged or injured vertebrae dictates which type of interbody fusion to use. Your surgeon will choose the option that provides clear access to the spine. In some cases, it’s necessary to use more than one approach. If you’re a candidate for LLIF, ask your surgeon questions such as:

  • Why is LLIF preferred over traditional open back surgery?
  • What are the risks of LLIF?
  • What type of interbody fusion will you use?

The more questions you ask, the more comfortable you’ll become in making the right decision for your health. 

Virginia Spine Specialists is an award-winning, minimally invasive spinal care practice with locations in Fredericksburg, VA and Manassas, VA. We also serve these Northern and Central Virginia locations: Haymarket, Gainesville, Culpepper, Front Royal, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Colonial Beach, Tappahannock and Lake Anna.