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Lumbar Fusion

Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI)

Neurological Surgery & Neurointerventional Surgeons located in Pomona, CA & Arcadia, CA

Lumbar fusion is an effective way of stabilizing your spine after a discectomy or decompression surgery. The expert spinal surgeons at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) in Pomona and Arcadia, California, use advanced, minimally invasive techniques like extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) to perform this surgery. This approach means less pain and a faster recovery after lumbar fusion. To benefit from the surgical team's exceptional expertise, call Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) or request a consultation online today.

Lumbar Fusion Q & A

What is lumbar fusion?

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Lumbar fusion is a procedure that involves fusing two vertebrae in your lower back (the lumbar spine). Your surgeon at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) may perform lumbar fusion to address persistent lower back pain.

During a lumbar fusion procedure, your surgeon removes a disc and, where necessary, small quantities of bone and ligament from between your vertebrae, and inserts a bone graft. They might also use metal pedicle screws and rods to increase stability during the healing process.

The graft encourages new bone growth that eventually fuses the two vertebrae into a solid unit. Lumbar fusion affects the flexibility of your spine in that area of your back, but you still have some spinal mobility.

What conditions can lumbar fusion treat?

Your surgeon at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) might recommend lumbar fusion to address severe, persistent lower back pain resulting from:

  • Herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Degenerative facet joint disease
  • Spinal trauma
  • Spinal infection
  • Neoplasia and tumors
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Radiculopathy (nerve root compression)

For many patients, nonsurgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, and radiofrequency ablation are effective means of resolving lower back pain. If you're tried all these treatments, and your condition isn't improving, lumbar fusion could help.

What does lumbar fusion involve?

There are various ways of accessing your spine and performing lumbar discectomy, including anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF). A technique the Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) team specializes in is extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF).

XLIF is a minimally invasive spine surgery technique for performing lumbar fusion in which your surgeon accesses your spine through the side of your body. With this approach, your surgeon only needs to make small incisions rather than cutting through layers of muscle and tissue as they would with open surgery.

Instead, they use instruments called retractors to carefully separate the muscles and gain access to your spine. This significantly reduces tissue damage, which means you have less postsurgical pain and recover more quickly.

Lumbar fusion could be life-changing for you if other treatments fail to ease your pain. To find out if this procedure is the right choice for you, call Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) today or request an appointment online.