Typically, surgery is recommended only after other treatments have failed to reduce the pain in your back or legs. A posterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure or PLIF is one of several back surgeries available at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic. During this procedure, Dr. Lewis removes the disc that is causing you pain, and he fuses the vertebrae using bone grafts. Because the surgery involves an incision made on the back, it is called a posterior fusion procedure.
Dr. Lewis starts with a three- to six-inch incision and moves through the following steps:
There are several advantages to using the posterior lumbar interbody fusion technique versus other spinal fusion techniques. These benefits include the following:
The main risk of a posterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure is a failure to obtain a solid fusion. If the PLIF does not obtain a union between the component vertebrae, additional surgery may be required. However, fusion rates are extremely high. So, your chances for a favorable outcome are too.
Who is at risk for non-fusion? You may have a lower rate of success with PLIF if you:
As long as the joints remain stable and your symptoms improve, you will not require additional back surgery.
Other complications include bleeding and infection. Some patients experience a return of pain and other symptoms following the surgery.
You may need specialized equipment to get around at home as you recuperate from the procedure. Ask Dr. Lewis whether you should have the following or other equipment at home:
You can travel home by car by lying on the back seat or reclining on the passenger front seat. Arrange for transportation home as you will be unable to drive.
Contact the Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic to learn more about a posterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure and other spinal procedures performed by Dr. Lewis. Call us at (601) 366-1011 today to make an appointment. We’ll find a solution that works for you.