Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF)

What is a Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF)?

Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (aka DLIF): fusion procedure where spine is accessed from patient’s side.

Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion, or DLIF, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for treating leg or back pain caused by degenerative disc disease. Unlike traditional anterior or posterior approaches to back surgery, DLIF approaches the lumbar spine through the patient’s side. Approaching through the side helps the surgeon to avoid major muscles of the back.

Who needs a Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF)?

Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion is recommended for patients of degenerative conditions, deformities, and injuries that can lead to spinal instability.

If the instability of the spine exerts pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, it can cause back pain, leg pain or muscle weakness. These symptoms can extend into the hips, buttocks, and legs.

DLIF is recommended only if these symptoms persist for a long period of time and have failed to be treated with conservative treatments such as rest, exercise, physical therapy, and medication.

What happens after the DLIF surgery?

This surgery may be performed as inpatient or outpatient surgery.

Your doctor will advise you what option is best for you. The patient is often able to walk around the day of the surgery and able to return to normal activities after a few weeks.

The physician will have a specific rehabilitation plan for the patient, which may include daily light exercise.

This material is intended to give the patient an overview of surgical procedures and treatments and is not intended to replace the advice and guidance of a physician. Always consult with your doctor about the particular risks and benefits of your treatment.

Request an Appointment.

Please call our office at 816-363-2500 to make an appointment. Be sure to bring all imaging studies with you.