Lumbar fusion is one of the most common surgical approaches for treating lower back pain. And there are a wide number of techniques used to perform a lumbar fusion, all with the goal of fusing the vertebrae together. Each procedure has its own advantages and disadvantages that your surgeon will discuss with you. Some of these techniques include:
Posterior lumbar fusion
Posterior lumbar fusion is the most common type of fusion surgery for low back pain. It is used to treat spine instability, severe degenerative disc disease, and fractures in the lumbar spine. With this surgery, two or more vertebrae are fused together into one solid bone. During the procedure the spine is accessed through an incision in the back. It may be performed by traditional open spine surgery or by minimally invasive methods, depending on which approach best addresses the patient’s needs and anatomy. Instrumentation such as screws and rods will be used to stabilize the spine.
Lateral interbody fusion surgery
This type of minimally invasive surgery is performed by approaching the spine from the patient’s side to remove the disc tissue causing pain and to join two or more vertebrae together.
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion is performed by approaching through the patient’s abdomen. a type of spinal fusion used for treating problems such as disc degeneration, spine instability, and deformities in the low back area of the spine. An incision is made in the abdomen, the disc material is removed, and the lumbar spine bones are fused together.
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is a surgery in which the front part of the lumbar spine is fused from the back. that involves the removal of a disc between two vertebrae and fusing them together. This type of surgery is recommended for those suffering from degenerative disc disease and other conditions that cause low back pain. This surgery is performed approaching the spine from the back.
Anterior/Posterior lumbar fusion (360)
This procedure involves fusing the spine from both the back and the front. It’s quite common for lumbar fusions, as it involves an entry through both the abdomen and the back — this allows the surgeon to work more easily on the spine.