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Other Spine Surgeries

Plif (Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

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Home > Spine Surgery > Spine Procedures > Other Spine Surgeries > PLIF

Interbody Fusion (PLIF): A Beneficial Union

Introduction: PLIF

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a surgical technique for placing bone graft between adjacent vertebrae (interbody). Typically, screws and rods or other types of spinal instrumentation are used to hold the spine in position while the bone heals. Indications for this procedure may include pain and spinal instability resulting from spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, or when a discectomy is performed to relieve nerve compression and the patient has associated mechanical low back pain.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery, Surgery

Spinal fusion uses bone graft to promote specific vertebrae to grow or fuse together into a solid and stable construct. Instrumentation, also called internal fixation, incorporates the use of rods, screws, cages, and other types of medical hardware to provide immediate stability to the spine and facilitate fusion.

Minimal Access Spinal Technologies

Today, spinal surgery has advanced to a new level that utilizes Minimal Access Spinal Technologies (MAST). These technologies replace traditional open surgical procedures with innovative minimally invasive techniques and tools. To grasp the importance and benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery, review the following comparison:

Open Approach

A longer incision along the middle of the back is necessary. Large bands of muscle tissue are stripped from the underlying spinal elements including the spinous process, lamina, and facets. These tissues are pulled aside (retracted) during surgery to provide the surgeon a good view of the spine and room for performing the procedure. During complex spine surgeries, these surrounding tissues (paraspinous) may need to be retracted for long periods of time. Stripping the paraspinous tissues and retracting them can contribute to post-operative pain and prolong the patient's recovery.

Minimally Invasive Approach

In minimally invasive procedures, the surgical incisions are small, there is no need (or minimal need) for muscle stripping, there is less tissue retraction, and blood loss is minimized. Special surgical tools allow the surgeon to achieve the same goals and objectives as the open surgery while minimizing cutting and retracting of the paraspinous muscles. Therefore, tissue trauma (injury) and post-operative pain are reduced, hospital stays are shorter, and patients can recover more quickly.

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Open PLIF Procedure

A typical PLIF procedure involves an open incision (approximately 6 inches long) in the middle of the lower back followed by stripping the paraspinous muscles away from the spine. Bone removal (laminectomy) and lumbar discectomy are performed to remove pressure from affected spinal nerve roots. When the offending disc is removed an empty space is left between the upper and lower vertebrae (interbody). This is filled with bone graft. Implants made of bone, metal, or other materials are typically inserted into the interbody space. Finally, pedicle screws are placed into the upper and lower vertebrae and connected with rods or plates.

MAST PLIF Procedure

Now spine surgeons can combine three innovative spinal surgical "systems" with Minimal Access Spinal Technologies (MAST). The combination of these systems allows a PLIF to be performed through two one-inch incisions on either side of the low back. The paraspinous muscles do not need to be stripped from the spine. The spine surgeon can perform bone removal, a discectomy, an interbody fusion, and pedicle screw insertion through the same small incisions!

METRxT is a microsurgical system that uses tubes inserted via small skin incisions to work through the normal tissue spaces that separate muscle fibers. These tubes are made to dilate the tissue spaces sequentially, thereby eliminating or minimizing the need for muscle stripping or cutting. The PLIF procedural steps of bone removal, discectomy, and bone graft / interbody implant placement are carried out through the METRx tubes.

Surgery, Surgeon, Interbody Fusion Surgery, PLIF, Posterior Lumbar

TANGENTT is an implant and instrument system used to prepare the interbody space for insertion of precision-machined wedges of cortical bone (bone graft implants).

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery, Surgery, Interbody Fusion Surgery, Lumbar   Surgery, Interbody Fusion Surgery, Lumbar, Posterior Lumbar

CD HORIZON® SEXTANTT is a "percutaneous" (through the skin) pedicle screw and rod insertion system. It enables the surgeon to precisely implant the screws and rods in a minimally invasive fashion. Once the METRx tubes have been removed, the SEXTANTT screws are placed through the same small (one-inch) incisions. The rods are percutaneously inserted through tiny openings (approximately one-fourth of an inch long) in the skin. This system helps to immobilize the spine (internal fixation) so the bone grafts can heal and fuse the vertebrae together.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery, Surgery, Surgeon


Advancements in spine surgery continue to evolve, providing surgeons with better tools and techniques to treat patients with spinal disorders. We can only expect further improvements as spine specialists continue to adopt and develop emerging technologies and integrate them into their practices.

The list of of world class Spine hospitals in India is as follows : -

Apollo Hospital Chennai Apollo Hospital, Chennai, India
Apollo Hospitals Delhi Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi, India
Apollo Hospitals Bangalore Apollo Hospitals, Bangalore, India
Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad, India
Wockhardt Hospital Bangalore India Wockhardt Hospital, Bangalore India
Fortis Hospital, Delhi, India Fortis Hospital, Delhi, India
Fortis Hospital Mohali, India Fortis Hospital, Mohali, India
Sparsh Hospital, Bangalore, India Sparsh Hospital, Bangalore, India
Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon ( Delhi ) , India Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon ( Delhi ) , India
Max Super Specialty hospital,  Delhi, India Max Super Specialty hospital, Delhi, India
BGS Global Hospital Bangalore, India BGS Global Hospital, Bangalore, India
BGS Global Hospital Chennai, India BGS Global Hospital, Chennai, India
BGS Global Hospital Hyderabad, India BGS Global Hospital, Hyderabad, India

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