When XLIF is Not an Option

There are a few specific instances where the XLIF procedure could not be performed.

See Outpatient Spine Surgery Considerations

Instances in which a patient could not have an XLIF procedure would include:

  • A fusion in the disc space between the 5th lumbar and 1st sacral vertebrae (L5-S1) because it is below the level of the pelvic brim, which inhibits access to the disc space from the side.
  • For some patients with a low riding L4-L5 level, access from the side through an XLIF may also not be an option
  • Some deformities with significant rotation
  • High grade spondylolisthesis
  • Bilateral retroperitoneal scarring (from a prior abscess or abdominal surgery)

As with any spinal fusion, each patient should be assessed individually and a discussion of suitability should take place between the patient and surgeon.