Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) is a surgical procedure in which the front part of the lumbar spine is fused from the side. The surgeon makes an incision in the side between the lower ribs and the pelvis. Instruments pass through muscles and to the disc. Disc material is removed and a fusion graft is placed into the disc space. The graft is usually bone or a cage combined with bone.
XLIF is most commonly performed for the treatment of painful disc degeneration or disruption. It may also be used in the treatment of other spinal conditions.
Once you have decided to have lateral fusion surgery, the following events take place: