What is lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF)?

Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is a spinal fusion surgery used to treat certain severe spinal conditions. The purpose of an open lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF) is to release the pressure placed on nerves by decompressing an impacted nerve in the spinal canal. This nerve can be impacted by several spine conditions, including herniated disc, bulging disc and many other degenerative conditions.

If you have been recommended to undergo a lumbar spinal fusion, you should research the different types of lumbar fusion procedures available to you. While traditional open back fusion is the most commonly referred to type of lumbar fusion, Laser Spine Institute offers a shorter recovery time as well as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery with our minimally invasive stabilization surgery.^

Advantages of Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Patient satisfaction score of 98^
  • Board-certified surgeons+
  • Less than 1-inch incision
  • Outpatient procedure
  • Patient recommendation score of 98 out of 100^

As you continue to research the types of lumbar fusion surgery available to you, we encourage you to read our informational articles and contact our dedicated team for more information on our minimally invasive spine surgery. Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck or back conditions. Let us help you find the best treatment option to relieve your pain so you can get back to the activities you love.

Process of a lateral lumbar interbody fusion procedure

A minimally invasive lateral lumbar interbody fusion begins with a surgeon making a small incision, about 1-inch in length, along the side of the body. Since most people assume the incision is made in the back, the idea that the incision is made on the side of the body may seem strange. The reason for this is simple, however. By making a small incision on the side, our surgeon is able to move through the muscles in the body to reach the spine without having to unnecessarily cut through or disturb the muscles.

Because of this, our patients will have a lower risk of complication during the procedure.^ Once the spine is accessed, the diseased disc is removed from the spine and an implant is inserted into the now-empty space in the spine to offer immediate stabilization. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a no-cost MRI review.* We are here to guide you through your journey to wellness.