In Posterior lumbar interbody fusion, the spinal fusion is achieved through a surgical incision made on the posterior (back) aspect of spine. It aims at fusion of two adjacent vertebrae in cases of spinal instability and associated back pain. It is a popular procedure as it gives excellent results. Major medical journals document that the procedure provides almost complete relief of symptoms in 90-95% of the cases and the patients are able to return to their daily activities within a few weeks. The patients can also return to most of their recreational activities.
This procedure is generally recommended for patients, who suffer from chronic pain and instability of spine due to conditions such as spondylolisthesis, disc herniation, degenerative disc disease etc that have not responded to conservative measures ( rest, physical therapy, medications) or after procedures such as bilateral laminectomy or discectomy. This procedure resolves the problem of spinal instability by infusing a bone graft within the disc space between the two vertebrae which allows new bone to grow, bridging the affected vertebrae.
The procedure ultimately aims at achieving spinal stability through bony fusion. A fusion creates rigid and immovable column of bone in the problem section of the spine thus preventing any painful movement. The procedure also restores the normal intervertebral distance, thus relieving pain, numbness, and tingling caused due to nerve compression.
In patients with spinal instability, instrumentation is used to help stabilize the spine during the bone graft fusion. Using minimally invasive surgery, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion can be done with a much smaller incision than traditional open spinal surgeries, decreasing damage to the low back muscles.
A bone graft is used to fuse the spinal vertebrae after the disc is removed. However, the TLIF procedure places a single bone graft between the vertebrae from the side, rather than two bone grafts from the rear, as in the PLIF procedure. Inserting the graft from the side where the facet joint has been removed is an effort to avoid moving or damaging nerve roots during the procedure.
Generally the patients can go home within 3-5 days after traditional PLIF and within 1-2 days after a minimally invasive PLIF. The patients are advised on wound care and how to perform their daily activities like getting up from bed, sitting, standing, walking and lifting by a physical therapist before they are discharged.
Certain exercises to improve the strength and endurance of the back muscles are taught to the patient. Patients aregenerally not required to wear a back brace after surgery. Patients resume light work within 2-3 weeks following surgery and recreational sports within 3 months of surgery.
Last Year I was unable to walk without assistance and had minimal function of my hands. Six months earlier I began experiencing cramping in my legs. As my symptoms worsened, I saw several specialists and had an MRI and CT scan of my lumbar spine.
The MRI of the cervical spine showed severe spinal cord compression at levels C4 through C7 which resulted in a condition called myelopathy, the cause of my symptoms. The spine surgeon met me and explained in detail what was causing my symptoms and the type of surgery necessary to take pressure off the spinal cord.
Today I can cook simple meals. I can go for morning walk again and take short shopping trips. I’ve had a complete turnaround in my quality of life since the spine surgery in India. Thank you everyone at SafeMedTrip.comRefer a Patient
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