A common form of spinal fusion, Posterior Lumbal Interbody Fusion (PLIF) is surgery to stabilize the affected vertebrae and discs of the spine. Fusion is the process of combining two adjacent vertebrae to create solid bone, thus eliminating any movement. The goal is the surgery is to reduce pain and nerve irritation.
Spinal fusion may be recommended for conditions such as spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease or recurrent disc herniations.
- Posterior refers to the approach of the surgery, which is from the back part of the spine (rather than the front or side)
- Lumbar refers to the position on the spine, which is the lower back
- Interbody refers to the manipulation of the disc space between the vertebrae
- Fusion is the process of combining two adjacent vertebrae to create solid bone, thus eliminating any movement
- A bone graft is placed in the interbody space and alongside the back of the verteba to be fused
- As the bone graft heals, it fuses the vertebra above and below, and forms one long bone
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