For patients experiencing leg or back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, the minimally invasive direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) procedure can provide pain relief by removing damaged spinal discs and bone then fusing vertebrae.
By accessing the patient’s lumbar spine from the side of the body, rather than traditional anterior (front) or posterior (back) approaches, the surgery avoids major back muscles, resulting in faster recovery times compared to the traditional “open” back procedures.
Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) can be recommended for patients of degenerative conditions, spinal deformities, and traumatic injuries that have caused spinal instability. If conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections have not provided relief from your back or leg pain caused by degenerative conditions and spinal instability, Dr. Bruggeman can evaluate if a direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) is the right option for your case. Understanding the root cause of the pain-triggering spinal instability is necessary to know if the direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) procedure is recommended for your condition.
For Dr. Bruggeman to evaluate if the direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) is the right option for your unique case, you may be required to undergo diagnostic procedures of the lumbar spine, including X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and/or a discogram.
The extent of damage or deterioration of the spinal discs and the location of the damaged vertebrae in the spine will guide Dr. Bruggeman’s recommendation of the direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) procedure or another minimally invasive interbody fusion. Consulting with Dr. Bruggeman will help you understand which approach is best for your specific pain points and needs.
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