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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I am new to this site. Has anyone heard of or had done an XLIF procedure? I am considering it for L4-L5 DDD. The surgeon I am talking to has done over 1500 of these. They replace insert a prosthetic device that contains lab grown protein. That protein then grows and forms new bone. I'm trying to find anyone who has had this procedure and if it was successful for them. Thank you.


  • You ahve been waiting for a couple hours on this and I at least wanted to passon something to consider.

    XLIF or Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion is not much different that tlif, plif, etc; rather is a matter of approach to the surgical site. The synthetic substance will be BMP an will bes packed into plastic og titanium cages. The dsk is removed, the cages inserted, and whatever else they have told you they will do.

    The big things for a fusion surgery like this are the preparation, the surgery, and the recovery. This is where almost all of us can now help you cause we have done it.

    Give us some more information and let us know te date you are looking at for the procedure. We will all be happy helping you throught this and answering as many questions as we can

    Best of Wishes,
  • Hi Snooky and welcome to the board.

    As srtayl has said the XLIF is simply the name for the direction the surgeon is entering from during the surgery.
    You will also see PLIF (posterior) ALIF (Anterior) and in most cases it is what the Dr feels is the best direction to get to your spine and where the problem in your spine is located.
    The surgery itself is more about cleaning out the damaged disc which is some cases involves removing the lamina or other spinal protusions as well. The the Surgeon fills the gap with the "spaces". There are various ones to choose from.
    Inside the spaces the dr can put a number of things, sometines they use ground bone that has been removed from surgery site, sometimes they use a graft from the hip or even cadaver bone. BMP is a bone growth hormone and that too can be put in the spaces. Each Dr has their own way of working and I know my Dr used a combination of my own bone and BMP. The BMP is supposed to hasten the bone growth so the bone fuses at a faster rate.

    Usually the Dr then uses screws and rods to hols your spine in place while the fusion is taking place. Not everyone has the 'hardware' but the majority do.

    If you go to the surgery forum you will see a lot of information good and bad. Just keep in mind that a lot of people come here for help before surgery and soon after but once everything is going well they dont come back. Hence you will probably read about more problems then successes. It is just that the successes have gotten on with thier lives. :))(

    I have had a PLIF 3 level fusion and getting along quite well. I had a lot of other problems so for me it was an extra long surgery and recovery but I was expecting that as well.

    If you are concidering surgery- keep doing your homework. It isn't a walk in the park and is something to seriously think about beforehand. I would recommend non surgical alternatives first like injections exercise etc.

    Hang in there and blessings to you
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  • Thanks everyone for your comments. I got lost in the ozone and couldn't find my way back to this page. I do appreciate your help. BTW, I have already tried physical therapy, epidural injections & exercise to no avail. I'll keep you posted on how things are going or if I have more questions. Thanks again.
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. sorry to hear you are having to consider surgery but i do hope it works out the best for you. i hope you have gotten a second or even a third opinion. good luck! Jenny :)
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