Lateral interbody fusion is a minimally invasive spine surgery for patients suffering from severe lower back pain because of nerve compression in the lumbar region. The procedure involves the surgical removal of the damaged and herniated spinal discs responsible for nerve compression, following which bone grafts and implants are used to fuse two adjacent vertebrae. Bone grafts facilitate natural bone regeneration, and rods, spacers, and cages stabilize the lumbar spine.
The term “lateral” refers to the location of the incision — the surgeon makes a small incision on the patient’s side to avoid disrupting the abdomen muscles. Your surgeon will recommend this procedure if you have severe nerve compression or symptoms of myelopathy, a spinal cord dysfunction that leads to the loss of mobility, loss of bladder control, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations, and the possibility of paralysis.
Dr. Kakoulides only performs minimally invasive spine surgeries that involve one or two small incisions on targeted locations, thus minimizing the need for complex surgical reconstruction. Furthermore, he only recommends surgery if all conservative solutions (physical therapy, chiropractic care, and injections) fail to yield the desired results or if you display neurologic symptoms of severe nerve compression. A lumbar interbody fusion removes the damaged components of the spine and restores optimal spinal stability.