eXtreme lateral lumbar intervertebral fusion
The XLIF (eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion) is an approach to spinal fusion in which the surgeon accesses the intervertebral disc space and fuses the lumbar spine (low back) using a surgical approach from the side (lateral) rather than from the front (anterior) or the back (posterior).
The XLIF is one of a number of spinal fusion options that a surgeon may recommend to treat specific types of lumbar spinal disorders, such as lumbar degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, scoliosis and deformity and some recurrent lumbar disc herniations and types of lumbar stenosis. It cannot be used for all types of lumbar conditions for which spinal fusion is a treatment option.
Possible risks and complications associated with the XLIF include but are not limited to:
- Persistent pain/continued pain after surgery
- Failure to fuse (pseudoarthrosis, or non-union)
- Muscle weakness
- Vascular injury (injury of the blood vessels)
- Neurologic injury (nerve or spinal cord damage)
- Urinary tract infection
- Deep vein thrombosis (clotting)
- Persistent pain at the site of bone graft harvest (in the hip)
- Further progression of existing spinal disease