Spinal fusion or fixation is the final stage in the treatment of degenerative spinal disease. It is employed when there is no further possible option and the pain is so severe that it greatly impairs quality of life. Spinal fusion can nowadays be performed with minimally invasive techniques to minimize tissue damage to muscle and skin.
In these modern ALIF, PLIF, TLIF or XLIF/DLIF techniques, all or part of the destroyed and non-functioning intervertebral disc is removed and replaced by a metal or plastic block. This technique is performed under X-ray control from behind (PLIF, TLIF), from in front (ALIF) or from the side (XLIF/DLIF). If necessary, the narrowed spinal canal is also widened during the procedure.
In this minimally invasive spinal fusion, the operation is performed through the skin without a large incision. Several small skin incisions are made, through which the muscle is stretched. The screws needed for the fusion are inserted into the vertebral bodies through these approaches and the vertebral bodies are fused to one another.
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