This complex surgery stabilizes the lower spine by fusing two or more lumbar vertebrae. The posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) procedure is used to treat intractable back or leg pain resulting from certain degenerative conditions. This type of spinal fusion requires the neurosurgeon to reach the vertebrae from the back (posterior) of the patient.
Back or leg pain caused by certain conditions might be greatly improved by Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion:
PLIF may be recommended for chronic, severe lower back pain that is not improved by more conservative treatments such as medications, back braces or physical therapy.
At Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) our multi-disciplinary team of medical professionals work together to give you expert spine care. Considered one of New York region’s leading neurosurgical practice, NSPC performs the latest minimally invasive and open procedures for common disorders such as spinal stenosis and herniated discs, to serious spinal conditions that include spinal deformities and spinal tumors.
For the PLIF procedure, a three- to six-inch incision is made on the lower back. A board-certified neurosurgeon partially removes the problematic lumbar disc and bone grafts are inserted. Additional support screw and rods (specialized instrumentation) stabilize the spine and prevent disc slippage. The body will grow bone around the implants forming a bridge of bone. This fuses the two discs together, maintaining vertebral height and providing spine stability, potentially alleviating severe pain. This complex surgery also can help reduce muscle weakness or numbness.
There are a few different types of spinal fusion grafts depending on the condition that needs to be treated. These grafts can include:
A number of innovations have made spinal fusion surgeries more likely to have a successful outcome for the patient than the past. Medical advancements such as newer instrumentation, improved procedures, an increased knowledge base of the spine’s mechanics, better surgeon training and advanced diagnostics with premier medical imaging techniques.
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