AXIALIF spinal fusion is an innovative method that avoids using askin incision on the back. the operation is performed by a small 2 cm entry near the tailbone. The instruments are introduced into the spine and surgery is all performed under xray. There is no cutting of muscles and recovery is very fast.
AxiaLIF is defined as a minimally invasive spinal fusion very useful to treat disc problems in the lower back. This surgical procedure is especially good when back or leg pain is caused by either injury or degenerative changes in the spine. Fusion allows stabilizing the spine in order to cease excruciating pain, by decompressing pinched nerves.
First, the surgeon makes a small incision on the buttock and a tube is inserted in order to get into the spine. Then the specialist eliminates the damaged disc, so the existing space between the bony vertebrae is filled with bone graft. The aforementioned graft allows the fusion between the two bones. Afterward, the graft and vertebrae are put into place by using a threaded rod. This allows recovering the space between both bones and alleviates the pinching of the nerves.
In the recovery period, new bone cells develop around the graft. After a period of 3 to 6 months, this bone graft has as purpose to amalgamate the 2 vertebrae, establishing a single solid bone.
AxiaLIF is an amazing surgical procedure due to several reasons: First of all, it may be helpful to treat several conditions such as degenerative disc, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis. Also, the incision is very small (less than 1 inch long) close to the buttock. Its trajectory to the spine lies in front of the sacrum. Because of the characteristics of this area, the surgeon can reach the disc without altering the spinal cord and nerves.
The tubular instruments used in the surgery do not have the ability to cut the back muscles like in any other fusion procedures. At last, AxiaLIF is performed as outpatient surgery so, on many occasions, the patient can go back home the same day.
Depending on the patient’s situation, it can be performed a one-level operation fusing two bones (L5-S1), or two-level fusing three bones (L4-L5-S1).
If you suffer from one of the aforementioned pathologies, you may be a candidate for spinal fusion, however, it is important to value both the benefits and risks of this surgery. It is worth to mention that AxiaLIF is considered when the specialist has tried other treatments. Fusion is not a definitive solution for back pain.
Nevertheless, it allows a better quality of life and return to a “normal life” but it is not a guarantee of pain relief completely.
No surgery is risks-free. General complications of any type of surgery comprehend bleeding, infection, blood clots (which may cause deep vein thrombosis), and allergic reactions to anesthesia. But more specifically for AxiaLIF we may count that vertebrae fail to fuse, bowel injury, bone graft migration, nerve damage or persistent pain. However, these are very rare complications.
At Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best doctors to perform AxiaLIF. Book a consultation to get a specialist´s opinion.
Anterior Lumbar Spine Fusion (ALIF) is an advanced technique using minimally invasive methods to replace a degenerate disc causing back pain. It avoids cutting spinal muscles on the back of the spine and leads to much quicker recovery and less problems at adjacent levels. It is perfectly suited for slim patients, females, disc degeneration without trapped nerves. Our specialists are highly experienced at this technique.