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What is extreme lateral interbody fusion?

By Brooke Strickland and Dr. Andrew Cash

Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) is a newer, minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to get to the spine with little disruption to surrounding connective tissues. It fuses the  front section of the spine with the side. Traditional fusion surgeries are more invasive, have greater risk of blood loss, and usually require longer hospitalization or longer physical therapy sessions. However, XLIF can restore disc height with only a small incision along the lateral part of the back (between the lower ribs and pelvis). People living with scoliosis, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, or spondylolisthesis can all benefit from this procedure.

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