Fusion Surgery

In many cases of severe and painful disc degeneration, spinal stenosis and instability, fusion surgery is still the treatment of choice.

What has changed during the past years, is the invasiveness of these procedures and the availability of new biomaterials.

These biomaterials aid fusion and reduce the need for allograft bone or iliac crest bone graft.

In the lumbar and in the thoracic spine, percutaneous fixation techniques and minimally invasive TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion) or single-oblique PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) have significantly reduced the trauma of the surgery.

In the cervical spine, new implants allow for performing an ACDF (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion) with less tissue dissection and through a smaller incision.

These advances result in less blood loss, less pain and a faster rehabilitation.

For anatomically difficult cases, computer aided planning and navigation, supported by a mini-robotic device, allows for safe and precise implant placement.

Anterior approaches for spinal fusion are increasingly rare because of the improvements in the fusion techniques that are performed through a posterior approach.

However, in some cases, an ALIF (anterior lumbar interbody fusion) can be performed through an anterior-only approach as a stand-alone procedure using special implants or as part of a combined strategy.

With the use of modern retractor systems, the incisions and the access trauma of ALIF procedures have also become considerably smaller.

Newer anterior procedures, such as the far lateral approach (XLIF = extreme lateral interbody fusion) have their special advantage in certain cases of degenerative lumbar scoliosis.

 
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