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Olif fusion l5 S1

Hi I'm due to have olif fusion at l5 s1 and I don't understand the procedure well enough yet, including the recovery rate/time. Please can anyone send me more information on this procedure?

I have previously had at discectomy and revision discectomy/laminetcomy at the same level (left side).

Thank you


  • Manvell
    Here's a couple of links about lumbar fusions that may help. Feel free to look around the web site. It's got good info.


    There is a really great thread in the FAQ called "Pre & post surgery must haves" that that helps you do good preparation.

    When's the surgery?
  • Thank you it's likely to be in early February. I can't find specific information about olif- for example I don't know whether I should expect incisions front and back. Does anyone know whether this type is more successful than alif or tlif? To be honest I don't fully understand the differences!

    Thank you in advance for any info.
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  • Welcome to Spine Health. This is a great place to learn of your spinal problems and meet friendly people who will share their experiences with you.

    Now as far as OLIF, I have never heard this term before. I would guess that it stands for Open Lumbar Interbody Fusion, but that is just a guess. If that is the correct explanation, then I think that it differentiates your surgery from a micro fusion surgery, which probably means that the incision is longer, but what is done inside is pretty much the same. Can you ask your surgeon to explain it to you? You will want to know if the incision will be at the front, the back or both.

    If your surgery is in February, then you have plenty of time to learn all about what will be done, prepare your house for your return after surgery and prepare yourself emotionally for spinal surgery. As Dave has mentioned, there is a thread here for Post surgery must have items.

    Hang around here and you will learn a lot. Do ask any other questions that you may have.

  • edited 12/11/2012 - 1:15 AM
    Thank you for your comments. I've had two surgery's so far (at l5 s1) - with the most recent being June 2011, so I've got the tools I need (straight back chair, raised toilet seat etc) I'm also very lucky as my mum will be moving in with me. But fusion is unknown territory to me. My surgeon originally suggested tlif, and then alif - so I researched those and found out lots of information. But yesterday he said he thinks olif will give me the greatest stability - I can only find two articles on it (oblique lumbar interbody fusion) but they aren't candid enough - and you're right, I need to wake up knowing where to expect my incisions to be! I'm going to contact my gp and Physio too.


    If anyone has had it or knows of any videos/reports that would be great!
  • Once you find out Manvell, please come back and inform us, then we can all learn.

    I had a PLIF of L4/5 in March 2010. It was definately worth the long recovery to get rid of the awful sciatica in both legs and most of the lower back pain. Having your Mum coming to stay to help you will be great. I was lucky enough to have my hubby take time off work.

    It sounds like your your recovery may be similar to a TLIF if the incision is oblique. Perhaps your surgeon could direct you to an article that describes how your recovery will be.

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  • edited 12/05/2014 - 4:25 AM
    I'm scheduled for an OLIF the 3rd week in January. I can't find much information about it. Does anyone have any info on this surgery.
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