Degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, degenerative scoliosis, and other such spinal disorders can cause nerve compression, leading to lower back pain, weakness, tingling sensations, numbness, and other symptoms. Lateral interbody fusion is a minimally invasive technique that addresses the root cause of your painful symptoms and restores spinal stability without disrupting abdominal muscles. Dr. Salari specializes in the latest minimally invasive techniques to address your concerns without excessive downtime.

What is Lateral Interbody Fusion?

Lateral interbody fusion is a surgical procedure that alleviates back pain caused by nerve compression because of various spinal disorders, such as degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and degenerative scoliosis. The procedure involves using numerous techniques, such as bone grafting and implants, to combine two adjacent vertebrae to stabilize the spinal column. Below, we shed light on what the term “lateral interbody fusion” truly means.

The term “lateral” indicates the surgery is performed via small incisions in the patient’s side. This is an alternative to “anterior” surgery, which involves incisions on the abdomen. This technique avoids disrupting the muscles on the abdomen or the back.

The spinal column consists of a series of vertebrae, each separated by cushion-like discs known as intervertebral discs. The term “interbody” refers to the intervertebral disc space.

The term “fusion” indicates that bone grafting materials, implants, and other materials might be used to combine or join two adjacent vertebrae. Interbody fusion involves replacing a diseased disc with bone grafting material and surgical implants, such as a cage or spacer.

Lateral Interbody Fusion
Lateral interbody fusion is a surgical procedure wherein an incision is made on the patient’s side to access and remove the damaged intervertebral discs. The diseased disc is removed and replaced by bone grafting materials and implants that facilitate natural bone regeneration and spinal stability, thus alleviating the symptoms of nerve compression.

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When is Lateral Interbody Fusion Needed?

Lateral interbody fusion is meant for patients with degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and degenerative scoliosis, i.e., spinal disorders that cause nerve compression. These conditions narrow the space between the vertebrae, thus applying pressure on the spinal nerve, leading to numbness, weakness, tingling, and painful symptoms. Your surgeon may recommend this procedure if all other conservative treatments have failed to relieve the symptoms and your condition continues worsening.

Your Minimally Invasive Lateral Interbody Fusion Surgery

Dr. Salari performs your lateral interbody fusion under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon makes an extremely small incision on your flank — the incision is usually between 30-40mm in length.

Under fluoroscopic guidance, he accesses the disc space, removes the diseased disc, and replaces it with a surgical implant, such as a spacer, screw, plate, or cage.

The surgeon also places bone grafting material, which may be drawn from another part of your body, another individual, or it might be synthetic. The implants hold the spinal components together, whereas the bone grafting material facilitates natural bone regeneration around the implants. This minimally invasive technique involves minimal hospital time and downtime, allowing you to resume your normal activities faster than traditional surgeries.

Contact Dr. Salari for Lateral Interbody Fusion

Dr. Ben Salari is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery. He uses the latest diagnostic tools, such as CT scans and MRI scans, to identify the root cause of your problems and curate a personalized treatment plan. His treatments start with conservative solutions, such as physical therapy, rest, and medications, and he only recommends lumbar spine surgery if all non-invasive options fail to yield the desired results.

For more information about lateral interbody fusion, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Salari at our state-of-the-art offices in Morristown, Hackettstown, Sparta, or Randolph in New Jersey.

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