MIS Anterior/lateral Interbody Fusion (ALIF/XLIF)
Dr. Steinhaus prefers motion-sparing surgery whenever possible. Occasionally, however the disease in the spine is such that part of the treatment is to stop the motion at the diseased segment.
This is typically the case when there is any instability (spondylolisthesis) causing compression of nerves, or if there is disc collapse causing pain and compression over the exiting nerve roots (foraminal stenosis), where the treatment is to restore the height of a collapsed disc and/or treat instability by stabilizing the spine. In this case, if nonoperative treatments have failed, a spinal fusion is necessary. In this surgery, Dr. Steinhaus may recommend minimally invasive anterior or lateral fusion. In a lateral fusion (XLIF), Dr. Steinhaus will make a small incision in the side to remove fragments of the diseased disc and place a spacer into the disc space to restore the height of the disc and stabilize the spine. In an anterior fusion, a small incision is made in the front around the belly button, again removing the diseased disc fragments and placing a spacer into the disc space to restore the height of the disc and stabilize the spine. In the case of an anterior fusion, Dr. Steinhaus works with the assistance of a vascular surgeon to approach the spine.