OLIF: Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion

OLIF: Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or OLIF, is a surgery intended to correct problems caused by a degenerated disc in your spine. This surgical procedure creates more space for your nerves. OLIF spine surgery is performed through a small opening in your side.

OLIF Procedure


Prior to your OLIF surgery, you will be given general anesthesia to put you to sleep. You will then be positioned on your side, and your surgeon will use a video x-ray device called a "fluoroscope" to find your damaged disc. A tiny opening is made in your skin, where the surgeon will pass 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.

Removing The Disc

Your surgeon will carefully remove your degenerated disc. An implant called an "interbody device" will be 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.

Stabilizing The Spine

Finally, your spine will be 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.

End of Procedure

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.

Learn more about the Spine Center at Resurgens Orthopaedics.

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