PLIF: Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion
What is Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion?
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) is a highly specialised and innovative surgical procedure to alleviate pressure and pain in the back and legs. Back pain and pain radiating from the spine into the legs and arms results from damage to the nerve roots caused by degenerative disc disease.
How is Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery Performed?
Specialised surgeons at the Gelenk Klinik make a small, vertical incision (cut) in the back.
Through this incision, parts of the vertebral bone are removed to gain access to the ruptured (burst open) disc. The protruding part of the damaged disc is removed. Part of the wall of the disc is left to help support the bone graft material.
The empty space between the vertebrae is filled by a bone graft, which over time knits together with the vertebrae immediately above and below, to form a new bone mass, called a fusion.
Bone grafts are also placed along the sides of the spine, to replace the vertebral bone that has been removed. The surgeon may also implant a series of rods and screws at the back of the spine to provide additional support to the healing process. Over time the bone grafts grow into the vertebral bone above and below connecting the vertebral bodies with a "bone bridge", this is also referred to as a fusion.