OLIF Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion (for L2-L5)


This is a surgery to correct problems caused by a degenerated disc in your spine. It creates more space for your nerves. OLIF is performed through a small opening in your side.


To begin, you are given medicine to put you to sleep. You are positioned on your side. Your surgeon uses a video x-ray device called a “fluoroscope” to find your damaged disc. A tiny opening is made in your skin. The surgeon passes a series of tubes called “dilators” through your soft tissues and down to your disc. A device called a “retractor” is slid over the dilators, and they are removed. Your surgeon will work through this channel.


Your surgeon carefully removes your degenerated disc. An implant called an “interbody device” is put between your vertebrae and packed with bone graft. The interbody device lifts your vertebrae into the proper position. It relieves compression of nearby nerves.


Finally, your spine is stabilized with other supports. Your surgeon will choose rods, plates, screws or other devices that are right for your needs. Over time, a solid fusion will form between your vertebrae.


When the procedure is done, the opening in your skin is closed. You are watched closely while you wake up. Your surgeon will give you instructions to help your recovery.