Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Abnormalities or degeneration (wearing) of the discs between vertebrae may lead to abnormal motions causing back and or leg pain.

If this pain continues following attempts at rehabilitation, surgery may be recommended. Surgical treatments for this pain commonly involve eliminating motion between affected vertebrae by initiating new bone growth, ultimately joining the two vertebrae together. The surgical procedure is generally referred to as a spinal fusion procedure. Generally the procedure is completed to induce new bone growth into the space between the transverse processes (posterolateral fusion) or the vertebral bodies (anterior interbody fusion). The spinal column may be surgically approached via an incision from the back or through the abdomen. A fusion may be attempted either on the front or back side of the spine.

There are different types of interbody spinal fusion.

Anterior Lateral Interbody Fusion (ALIF) This procedure is performed via an incision in a patient’s abdomen. The vertebral bodies are approached from the front and a femoral ring (cadaver bone), or cylindrical cage is placed between the two vertebral bodies. The femoral ring or cage instrumentation is filled with bone graft usually obtained from the patient’s hip (iliac crest). If fusion is successful, motion between the vertebrae will stop and any pain caused by abnormal motion between those vertebrae will no longer exist.


Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF)This interbody fusion procedure is performed via an incision in the patient’s side (direct lateral).

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)The minimally-invasive TLIF procedure is an operation that involves approaching the spine from the back. The patient is positioned in the prone position (laying face down on a padded frame) for the operation. Utilizing the Minimally invasive tube access such as (METRx), and a rod insertion system such as SEXTANT, CSC surgeons can remove a portion of the affected disc space from the spine and insert bone graft and one implant from a Transforaminal (oblique) approach. New biologics such as advanced bone grafting like nanOss Bioactive 3D  allows surgeons to use this synthetic bone material instead of harvesting bone from the patient. This shortens operative time and eliminates pain from the bone graft site. Titanium screws and rods are then inserted into the back of the spine to supplement the stability of the entire construct through the tubes. All of this can be done through small one inch (25mm) incisions. A smaller incision allows for decreased post-operative pain and a faster recovery. This procedure is also a good option for those patients who have had previous abdominal surgery.



Stem Cell

Center for Spine Care offers stem cell therapy as a conservative treatment to promote natural healing for back or neck pain. Utilizing mesenchymal stem cells, this new method is used to treat patients with neck and back pain caused from degenerative disc disease.