Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

What is Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF): fusion procedure where spine is accessed through patient’s back.

Posterior lumbar interbody fusion, or PLIF, is intended to relieve back and leg pain by removing a damaged lumbar disc and fusing the two adjacent vertebrae together using bone graft material. The approach for this procedure is from the patient’s back, or posterior.

Who needs Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion?

Your doctor may determine you are a candidate for Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion if you have a history of mechanical low back pain.

This low back pain may or may be accompanied by leg pain. Other factors may include degenerative disc disease and lumbar instability, Spondylolisthesis, Spinal Stenosis, spinal instability caused by previous surgeries, or pseudoarthritis.

Additional factors include general health, age, activity levels and other life factors.

After Treatment & Recovery

Your surgeon may place a drainage tube in the wound site.

He may also elect to use a back brace to stabilize your spine while it heals. You may be in the hospital three to five days with a standard incision. Minimally invasive approaches typically result in a shorter hospital stay of one to two days.

You may be prescribed medication and physical therapy after sufficient time has passed for the bone graft to occur. Be sure to follow your physician’s treatment and recovery plan, and always consult them if you have any questions.

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 any imaging studies with you.