Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Reduced Surgical Trauma
Minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion is a procedure that is performed to remove a herniated or degenerating disc without causing damage to the surrounding tissues and muscles. The degenerating disc is removed in order to ease pressure on spinal nerves and alleviate back and leg pain.
With the minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure, the spine is accessed through incisions in the back. The minimally invasive approach is accomplished with a much shorter incisions than are used in traditional spinal surgeries.
Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Procedure Specifics
To begin the procedure the surgeon will make two small incisions on each side of the middle of the lower back, approximately one inch in length apiece. A fluoroscope is used to project live images of the surgical area onto a screen. Using this guidance, the surgeon will insert a needle or thin wire through the muscle fibers and tissues to the spine on each side. Once the wire is placed, dilators are guided down the wire to further separate muscle fibers and provide access to the area. Larger dilators will be added to increase this area’s diameter until the surgeon has enough room to perform the surgery. A retractor will also be added to keep the surgical field expanded.
Once the surgeon is happy with the surgical exposure, a microscope or endoscope will be used to provide close-up imagery of the field on a screen to guide the surgeon. The surgeon will use cutting instruments to remove parts of the lamina as well as the facet joints from each side of the back of the vertebrae.
This removal of bone provides access to the degenerating disc, which will be taken out using a grasping instrument. With this herniated disc gone the pressure on the spinal nerves will be relieved. Following disc removal two bone grafts will be placed to allow for fusion and increased spinal stability.
The minimally invasive posterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure allows for reduced trauma to the muscles surrounding the surgical area, as well as shorter hospitalization following the surgery, reduced postoperative pain, and faster recovery when compared to traditional surgery.