Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
A posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a surgical technique that involves correction of the spinal problems at the base of the spine by placing bone graft between two vertebrae.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques may be employed to perform the procedure.
PLIF is recommended when the non-surgical treatment measures such as rest, physical therapy or medications fail to reduce the symptoms (pain, numbness, and weakness).
Some of the common indications are:
- Spinal instability
- Degenerative disc disorder of lumbar spine (pain due to damaged disc)
- Spondylolisthesis (slippage of one vertebra on another)
- Spinal stenosis
In this procedure the surgeon makes a small incision in the lower back over the vertebrae to be treated. The size of the incision depends on the bone graft to be used. The surgeon dilates the surrounding muscles of the spine to access the section of the spine to be stabilized. The lamina/roof of the vertebrae is removed to visualize the nerve roots. The facet joints that are directly over the nerve roots are trimmed to provide the nerve roots with more space.
To place the bone graft, the nerve roots are shifted to one side and disc material is removed from the front (anterior aspect) of the spine. Now the bone graft is implemented into the disc space. Screws and rods are used to stabilize the spine for better healing and fusion. After the completion of the procedure, the incision is closed leaving behind a minimal scar.
The main goal of the procedure is to reestablish the spinal stability.
This minimally invasive procedure typically permits most of the patients to be discharged the day after surgery but some patients may require a longer hospitalization. Most of the patients observe immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms but sometimes the improvement of the symptoms may be gradual.
Contribution of a positive approach, realistic expectations and compliance with your doctor’s post-surgical instructions help bring a satisfactory outcome of the surgical procedure. Most patients can resume their regular activities within several weeks.
Risks and complications:
The complications associated with PLIF surgery include infection, nerve damage, blood clots or blood loss, bowel and bladder problems and problems associated with anesthesia. The primary risk of spinal fusion surgery is failure of fusion of vertebral bone and bone graft which may require an additional surgery.
Talk to your surgeon if you have concerns regarding PLIF procedure.
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Houston Back and Spine Specialists
Advanced Orthopedics and sports medicine has Board Certified/Eligible physicians who are thoroughly educated in the latest treatment techniques both surgical and conservative. The spine surgeons practice conservatively utilizing minimally invasive techniques whenever possible. Should surgery be required, options range from out-patient spinal surgery to major spinal reconstruction and management of scoliosis.
Contact us today to Schedule an Appointment or call us at 281-955-2650 to learn more about our Back and Spine Treatment options.
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What Our Patients Are Saying
Each procedure done by Dr. Patel has been an improvement. Very pleased.
Dr. Patel has been a great Doctor for me. When I was referred to after discussion we decided to do injections in my back. The first two did not work so did two more in a different section of my back. These injections worked great. I’m now able to sleep at night and the numbness in my foot is almost gone. The tingling in my foot & leg is gone and I am very happy about that. I am extremely happy that Dr. Patel is my Doctor. She has been a good listener when I tell her where I hurt and talks to me about what she feels should be done. The final decision is always mine.
On Nov. 22, 2017, I had a spinal injection in my lower back and it was an instant miracle in my life! For the first time in 4 intolerable months of pain, I was finally pain free, and I am now getting a second chance to live again! I am so grateful to Dr. Patel for my new life, and to God for guiding me to her! Thank you so very much Dr. Patel – you are God’s gift to me, thank you for being so awesome at what you do.
Dr. Patel is one of the best Doctors I have ever had. She is pretty good at her job. She makes it plain and simple. She is also very thoughtful. I was very glad to have met her. In other words she is pretty good.
The surgery done by Dr. S. Patel (Actually injections) & the mild medications she has prescribed has surely made my lower back -hip-leg less painful. I have complete confidence in her medical judgement & advice. She will administer second injection in June.
Dr. Patel is a very good Pain Management Doctor. She is one of my favorite doctors.
Dr. Patel has been great at my pain relief. She doesn’t force me to take any meds I don’t want, or injections. She will give me the injection I want when I need it. Great friendly Doctor.
Thank you for the opportunity to express how pleased I am with the excellent care of Stacy A. Bacon, M.D. I have confidence in her ability to care for me as she successfully partially replaced a broken hip 10 years ago, 2007. I also want to compliment Cheryl who set up the appointment. She represents Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine very well.
It’s been over 8 years since Dr. Bacon replaced by right ankle. I still can’t thank her enough for the years of pain free walking I have done since! And I’m still going strong! I had numerous breaks in my ankle due an auto accident, repaired/set by a different doctor, after multiple surgery’s, I was still limping, in great pain every day. Then I found Dr. Bacon, now, no more pain, NONE, and no more limping after this ankle replacement. I rave about her constantly and would recommend her to anyone who has a foot or ankle issue
I had been in so much pain with my back for years. It got so bad that I knew I had to do something. I went to Dr Mohr for help. I was so afraid to have spine surgery as I had heard so many horror stories. He and his staff were very informative. I was amazed at the new technology in spinal surgery. December 8, 2016 I had rods and pins put in my back. I am so happy I did now. I am healing really fast and the pain is going away as my body heals. Thank you Dr Mohr for you expertise and sensitive nature. You were understanding about my fear and helped assure me so I could receive the help I needed. You are an excellent Doctor.