Lumbar Fusions

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical approach done from the front of the body to remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the lower back. The procedure is done through an incision on the abdomen with the abdominal muscles being retracted to the side. Once the disc is removed, the space is filled with bone graft and a cage/bone implant to create the conditions for fusion to occur. The surgery can be part of a two-step process (staged for two days or done in a day), and then pedicle screws and rods are placed in the vertebrae to secure the fusion.

Lateral interbody fusion (extreme lateral or direct lateral interbody fusion) is a surgical approach done from the side of the body to remove a herniated or degenerated disc in the lower back. The surgery is done through an incision on the side of the body. Once the disc is removed, the space is packed with bone graft and a cage implant to create the conditions for fusion to occur. Sometimes the surgeon will place a plate on it and leave it as a stand-alone device. But it is usually part of a two-step surgery (staged for two days or done in a day), and then pedicle screws and rods are then placed in the vertebrae to secure the fusion.

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical technique that involves removing a disc from between two vertebrae and fusing the vertebrae together. This is done through an incision in the back. The disc is removed through one side of the spinal canal. The space between the two vertebrae is cleared. The space is then packed with bone graft and either a bone block or cage implant. Pedicle screws and rods are then placed in the vertebrae to secure the fusion.

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion is a surgical technique that involves removing a disc from between two vertebrae and fusing the vertebrae together. This procedure differs from the transforaminal fusion in that the disc is removed from the back on both sides versus one side. The surgery is done through an incision in the back. The disc is removed through the right and left sides of the spinal canal. The space between the two vertebrae is cleared and then packed with bone graft and either a bone block or cage implant. Pedicle screws and rods are then placed in the vertebrae to secure the fusion.