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L5S1 Fusion- Open or minimally Invasive?

I'm new to forum and looking for some help with my decision. I am set on L5 -S1 fusion since I've managed my back injuries and pain for 7-8 yrs successfully but now cannot the last 1&1/2. But I haven't decided on the Dr. nor more importantly, the procedure. My trusted spine surgeon would do anterior open surgery for this. I may prefer minimally invasive if it effective enough. What minimally invasive techniques are available for real fusion? I read anterior is riskier to nerves than open. Lateral sound good to me but I wonder if that is strong enough for successful fusion without additional stabilization. Does anyone have experience with minimally invasive fusion and what type of procedure it was?
Thank you


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery

  • I am posting a link to a page that has a list of various spinal surgeries that you can read.


    I suggest that you aquaint yourself with the various surgical options for your back injury and then discuss them with your surgeon. It is always wise to get more than one opinion. Each surgeon may have a different solution and plan. I would ask why they propose the type of surgery that they do and what advantages it has over other options.
    Hopefully that way you will be able decide, if you do have surgery, who to go ahead with.

    I had an open laminectomy and fusion of L4/5 and although I do have a long incision, the surgery gave me great relief of my pain.

  • Apperantly the minimally invasive XLIF cannot be performed on the L5S1 level. I've known my spine surgeon 1&1/2 yrs and will have him do an anterior fusion as we've discussed. Now I have to cancel my appointment for a week long visit to an institute which does minimally invasive procedures.
    Very informative spending the last 28 hrs essentially, reading articles and watching videos all pertinent to my situation.
    Keep reading everyone! You'll find the answers.
    Thanks Spine-health.com.
  • Bmbmdan:

    I noticed in your post that you mentioned cancelling "a week long visit to an institute which does minimally invasive procedures." That description sounds very much like the LSI in Florida. If it is, I would suggest that you research THAT facility. On a regular basis, someone will post a question on this forum regarding that facility.

    Search the archives of this forum or just do a Goggle search. You may discover some interesting opinions about the LSI.

  • my surgery was considered minimally invasive though still major surgery. 2 incisions on my side (left) and 2 on my back.. all are about 3 inches. the scars are actually not very intense, they look like scratches. my surgeon was great at 'closing'. I don't think it matters how they get in there to do it, I think what matters is what they do once inside..! ... I had an l5 s1 fusion..
  • flowerpotsfflowerpots Posts: 379
    edited 08/26/2013 - 5:36 PM
    I had ALIFL4L5S1 In March rods nuts and bolts cages cut front and back.I had ortho surgeon and vascular surgeon.It was a tough rode but now I have 2 more pt sessions and im done.I feel great and going back to work in sept.My surgeon used to do minimal invasive and he doesn't do them anymore because the success rate was very sml.The open surgery is 98%success and im one of them.He said opening up the front he can clean everything out good and get at everything better.My pt instructor said I did better than minimal invasive patients.I wish you luck what ever you choose.I hope this helps kathy
    Kathy B
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