Do you suffer from lower back pain? In most cases it can be treated effectively with exercise therapy, but surgery may be the only answer for others. Neurosurgeons at Chilton Hospital are now using the XLIF (extreme lateral interbody fusion) procedure as an alternative to traditional spine surgery. The minimally invasive XLIF procedure shortens hospitalization time while improving outcomes. There is also less risk of persistent pain because the procedure requires less disruption of tissues.
A mere one-inch incision, as opposed to the traditional five, allows access to area that needs treatment. In the past, lumbar fusion had been achieved through the patient's back or abdomen. With XLIF, the lumbar region is much easier to access with the patient lying on their side. There is less exposure of vital areas, less risk of damage to these areas and a lesser recovery period with this procedure. In addition, there is less blood loss, less operative time, and less pain to the patient than a standard open operation.
After receiving the XLIF procedure, patients are often back on their feet within a day or two. The typical recovery period is approximately four to six weeks instead of the six months following a typical open back surgery. And, XLIF is a much safer alternative to traditional spinal surgery because it utilizes a special nerve monitoring system. This system uses sensors to warn that the surgeon's probe is approaching one of the nerves running through the muscle. This warning system allows the physician to stay away from sensitive areas, thus minimizing the chances of damage.
Visit our find a doctor page for a physician who performs the XLIF procedure, or call 1-888-CHILTON.