MIS XLIF®: Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion

Overview

Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®) is typically used to treat leg or back pain caused by degenerative disc disease.

An XLIF® procedure typically involves one small incision on the patient’s side. The surgeon inserts a probe and guides surgical instruments in the incision. The probe is used to help avoid interrupting the nerves. X-ray images guide the probe to the proper place in the spine. Using dilation tubes and a retraction device the surgeon gains access to the spine and removes the damaged disc. Once the disc is removed an implant filled with bone graft is placed in the empty disc space. This realigns the spine and relieves pressure from pinched nerve roots.

Using the XLIF® procedure, instead of traditional spine surgery, the surgeon avoids cutting into major muscles by making the incision in the patient’s side — which can mean less post-operative pain. This procedure is generally performed in an outpatient setting or 23 hour stay.

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Scott B. Phillips, MD is a neurological surgeon based in San Antonio who specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery, artificial disc replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, spinal cord stimulator implants and other brain disorders, including brain tumor and chiari decompression. Patients travel from Bexar County, San Marcos and South Texas, including Corpus Christi, Kingsville, McAllen and Brownsville for treatment of back pain, neck pain, brain tumor, carpal tunnel and epilepsy-related neurological problems. Dr. Scott Phillips provides second opinions for back surgery and neck surgery, and emphasizes non-surgical treatment options in advance of spine surgery. Where surgery is necessary because of a herniated disc or spinal instability, Dr. Phillips uses minimally invasive spine surgery techniques and advanced technology like the artificial disc to help patients relieve pain symptoms and get back to activity. This spine neurosurgeon expertise enables many patients to have outpatient spine surgery and be home the same day.