About The XLIF Procedure

The XLIF® procedure is what is termed a “minimally invasive” procedure. This means that instead of a traditional, large, “open” incision, the procedure is performed through one or more small incisions. Minimally invasive surgery is thought to be better for many reasons, including: less tissue trauma, less scarring, and less postoperative discomfort.

The XLIF procedure is innovative because not only is it minimally invasive, but also it allows the surgeon to access the spine from the side of the body, which inherently means less soft tissue to cross to get to the spine. This also avoids major muscle groups in the back, and the major organs and blood vessels in the abdomen.

The XLIF surgery includes neuromonitoring, the testing of the nerves during surgery, which is a critical part of this procedure. Because nerves exiting the spinal column are close to psoas muscle and can even run right over its surface, it is critical that the surgeons have real-time information about the nerves’ position relative to his instruments. You can read more in Frequently Asked Questions.