Lateral Is Better

Why is Lateral Better?

Lateral approach surgery for spinal reconstruction (XLIF) is a novel, minimally invasive method of spinal reconstruction. It avoids muscle pain almost entirely by approaching the spine from the side rather than from the back. The side trunk muscles (abdominal obliques) are more forgiving, and approaching from there allows for a less painful postoperative recovery. Under these oblique muscles is a space between the abdomen and the back muscles called the retroperitoneal space. At the bottom of this space lies the psoas muscle, covering the sides of the vertebrae. This muscle helps with bending at the hip. It is through this space and through this muscle that the surgeon will reach the spine. The spinal nerves that exit the spine and travel to the legs through the psoas muscle (lumbar plexus) will be monitored throughout the surgery using surgeon-directed, real-time EMG nerve avoidance technology. The combination of a larger footprint implant through a smaller incision between more forgiving muscles leads to a much more stable construct resulting in less tissue trauma and pain. As a result, patients undergoing XLIF surgical reconstruction often leave the hospital within 24 hours of surgery, walking on their own with minimal post-operative pain.
 

The Lateral Approach

This video was produced by Nuvasive, developer of the XLIF surgery, and details the lateral approach to the lumbar spine.
 

 


XLIF Implantation

This video was produced by Nuvasive, developer of the XLIF surgery, and details the implantation of an XLIF cage used for spinal reconstruction.
 

 


XLIF For Spondylolisthesis 

This video was produced by Nuvasive, developer of the XLIF surgery, and details the use of XLIF for treatment of spondylolisthesis.
 

 


XLIF For Spinal Deformities 

This video was produced by Nuvasive, developer of the XLIF surgery, and details the use of XLIF for treatment of degenerative deformities, such as scoliosis.
 
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