Lumbar Conditions and Procedures

Lumbar Disc Herniation

A common source of back or neck pain is a herniated disc. Sometimes called a “slipped” or “ruptured” disc, this condition most often occurs in the lower back, as well as the smaller disks in the neck.

Although a herniated disc can sometimes be very painful, most people feel much better with just a few months of simple, nonsurgical treatments.

However, sometimes surgery is required. Surgery for this problem most often involves a microdiscectomy utilizing a minimally invasive approach.

For more information about a herniated disk in the lower back, CLICK HERE.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the space around the spinal cord narrows. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and the spinal nerve roots, and may cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs.

Often, conservative treatments such as physical therapy and oral neuromodulators are effective for this condition. If these modalities fail to control symptoms, then surgery most often involves lumbar decompression, often called a laminectomy.

For more information about lumbar spinal stenosis, CLICK HERE.

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

In lumbar spondylolisthesis, one of the bones in your spine — called a vertebra — slips forward and out of place. This may occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the lower back (lumbar spine). In some people, this causes no symptoms at all. Others may have back and leg pain that ranges from mild to severe.

Treatment begins with conservative therapy, but sometimes surgery becomes required. Because spondylolisthesis is associated with lumbar instability, surgery most often involves a decompression and fusion. Different approaches to fusion are described below.

To learn more about adult Spondylolisthesis in the lower back, CLICK HERE 


Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

An interbody fusion is a type of spinal fusion that involves removing the intervertebral disk. This type of fusion can be performed using different approaches. For example, the surgeon can access the spine through incisions in the lower back or through incisions in the side. In an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF), the surgeon approaches the lower back from the front through an incision in the abdomen.

Lateral Interbody Fusion

In a lateral lumbar interbody fusion, the surgeon takes a side approach and centers the incision over the patient’s flank. With this approach, the surgeon can reach the vertebrae and intervertebral disks without moving the nerves or opening up muscles in the back.

The lateral approach is often referred to as extreme lateral or direct lateral interbody fusion (XLIF or DLIF).

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

This technique is a variation of PLIF. In transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), your surgeon approaches the disk space slightly more from the side. The advantage of this approach is that it requires less movement of the nerve roots; thus, theoretically, it decreases the chance of nerve injury.