Olif Surgery

Olif Surgery; OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) surgery is a minimally invasive procedure designed to correct conditions of the lumbar spine (lower back) that are causing back and leg pain. OLIF surgery is performed at the same level of the spine as traditional open back procedures but with much smaller incisions. By minimizing the tissue trauma to surrounding muscle, OLIF surgery can decrease post-operative pain, accelerate recovery, and help patients return to their normal activities faster.

What is causing my lower back and leg pain?

There are a number of conditions that cause lower back and leg pain, including spinal stenosis, disc degeneration, bulging discs, arthritis, and disc herniation. In many cases of back and leg pain, the disc has deteriorated over time due to aging or injury resulting in irritation of the nerve roots as they exit from the spine. When this happens, it causes inflammation in the nerve roots which results in severe back and leg pain. These conditions can be caused by aging or injury (bulging discs), infection (osteomyelitis), tumors (spinal cord tumors or metastatic bone tumors), scoliosis, or congenital deformities like spina bifida.

How does OLIF surgery work

There are two types of minimally invasive techniques used in OLIF surgery: transforaminal and transpsoas.

  • In transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), the surgeon makes a small incision on the back to access the spine. The disc is removed through the incision, followed by insertion of bone graft material or a bone graft substitute. A rod or plate with screws may be placed to stabilize the spine during healing.
  • In transpsoas lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), the surgeon makes a small incision on the side of the abdomen to access the spine. The disc is then removed and replaced with bone graft material or a bone graft substitute. A rod or plate with screws may be placed to stabilize the spine during healing.

The OLIF procedure is performed through a single, small incision in the middle of the abdomen. This approach offers several benefits:

Less muscle dissection

Less blood loss and scarring

Low rates of infection

Quicker recovery time

The orthopedic and spine physicians at OrthoCarolina are committed to providing the highest quality care available. To make sure we are offering our patients the most effective, innovative treatments for your specific condition, we utilize a broad range of conservative and surgical approaches. Our goal is to restore function as quickly as possible, allowing you to return to the life you love.

OrthoCarolina has served the Charlotte community for more than 70 years. Our providers are experienced in treating a variety of orthopedic and spine conditions, including back pain, hip pain, knee pain and other joint pain. Our treatment options include everything from minimally invasive surgeries to rehabilitation or outpatient physical therapy.

If you’re looking for an orthopedic surgeon in Charlotte NC, there’s no better choice than OrthoCarolina.

Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) is surgical operation performed through small incisions to minimize post-operative pain and recovery time. Minimally invasive procedures are frequently used in order to perform major surgeries. It may also be known as laparoscopic surgery, or keyhole surgery, when performed by entering the abdomen through small incisions (usually 0.5–1.5 cm).

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The surgical instruments and camera are inserted into the body through small incisions, allowing the surgeon to operate without making large incisions on the skin. The surgeon uses a camera to see inside the body, while manipulating the instruments using separate controls. The advantages of minimally invasive surgery include less pain and blood loss, quicker recovery times and shorter hospital stays.

Minimal access surgery is now routinely used for bowel operations such as hernia repairs, appendectomy and cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), but can also be used for heart valve repair and replacement, hip replacements and hysterectomy (removal of the womb). Elective cosmetic/plastic procedures such as face lifts can also be performed with minimal scarring using this technique.

What Is OLIF Surgery?

What Is OLIF Surgery
What Is OLIF Surgery

Minimally invasive surgical techniques have rapidly gained popularity in spine surgery over the past decade. For example, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) has been used for many years to treat degenerative lumbar conditions. However, TLIF still requires a significant incision that can lead to prolonged pain and recovery. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) has also become more popular over the past several years because it provides excellent instrumentation and fusion rates while minimizing damage to underlying muscles, nerves and tissues. However, ALIF still requires a large incision.

To address these issues, surgeons at Duke University began using a technique called oblique lateral interbody fusion (OLIF) which is a minimally invasive procedure performed from the side of the body through a small incision. OLIF is especially suited for treating degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis with instability because it is less destructive to surrounding muscles and tissues than other minimally invasive procedures like lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF), posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), minimally invasive posterior decompression (MIPD), or mini-open percutaneous endoscopic lumbar discect

OLIF (oblique lateral interbody fusion) is an advanced, minimally invasive technique for spinal fusion. OLIF surgery replaces a damaged disc with a bone graft to fuse two vertebrae together. This technique can be used to treat many conditions that affect the spine, including degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis.

For many patients with degenerative disc disease or other spinal conditions, OLIF may be recommended as an alternative to spinal fusion or other more traditional procedures. The goal of OLIF is to stabilize the affected vertebrae and relieve pain caused by the condition.

During OLIF surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in your lower back to create a small corridor between your muscles and spine. Then, they will use surgical tools that allow them to work around your hip muscles while still offering direct access to the spine. By carefully working around your hip muscles, your surgeon can avoid damaging them during the procedure.

Once they have access to the spine, your surgeon will remove the damaged disc and replace it with a bone graft that stabilizes the vertebrae and encourages them to grow together into a single bone mass (fusion).

OLIF is a minimally invasive alternative to traditional spinal surgery that allows surgeons to access the lumbar spine from the side of the body rather than from the back. OLIF surgery is used to treat a range of lumbar spine conditions, including:

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Herniated disks

Spinal stenosis

Degenerative disk disease

Spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of vertebral bones)

OLIF surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means you’ll be asleep during the procedure. To perform OLIF, your surgeon will make a small incision on your side and detach muscles from either side of your spine. The surgeon will then retract these muscles out of the way in order to visualize and repair your spine. This muscle-sparing approach reduces postoperative pain and speeds recovery time compared with traditional open surgeries.

OLIF surgery is a minimally invasive spinal surgery that is meant to relieve pressure on the nerves of the spine. The surgical procedure involves an incision at the side of the body in order to reach the spine. OLIF can be used to treat a variety of conditions, such as:

Degenerative disc disease

Spinal stenosis

Spinal tumors

Herniated discs


OLIF stands for oblique lateral interbody fusion. This is a procedure that can help secure the spine and reduce pain. It is a type of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) in which the surgeon makes small incisions and uses small instruments to perform the surgery.

During OLIF surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the side of the hip. They then separate the muscles to reach the spine without cutting any muscles or removing any bone from the spine.

The surgeon inserts surgical tools into the incision and moves them up to reach the affected part of your spine. The surgeon removes any damaged tissue, such as disc fragments or bone spurs, and inserts an implant between two vertebrae in your spine.

The implant helps stabilize your spine and may help relieve pain caused by compression of nerves in your spine. Once inserted, the surgeon closes up their incision using stitches or surgical staples

The OLIF, or oblique lateral interbody fusion, is a lumbar spine surgery performed to treat several conditions that affect the lower back.

The OLIF procedure is a minimally invasive form of spinal fusion. During this procedure, a surgeon accesses the spine through your side, rather than from the back of your body like in other spinal fusion surgeries.

Your surgeon will make an incision in your side or abdomen depending on where they need to access your spine. They’ll insert small instruments into this incision and carefully move surrounding muscles and tissue out of their way so they can get to your spine.

After accessing your spine, they’ll use small surgical tools to remove any damaged vertebrae or discs. They may replace them with bone grafts or artificial discs. If you have more extensive damage to your vertebrae, they may also use metal screws and rods to stabilize your spine during healing.

Anterior approach surgery is a way to access the spine in the front of your body. It involves cutting through abdominal muscles, but not through your chest. This technique gives your surgeon a clear, straight path to the spine. You will have less pain and recover faster than you would if you had open posterior surgery.

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The anterior approach can be combined with other techniques such as pedicle subtraction osteotomy (PSO) or oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF). Your surgeon may choose these options if you have a condition that causes spinal deformity, such as scoliosis or spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra slips forward over another vertebra).

During PSO surgery, your surgeon removes pieces of the pedicles of your vertebra—the parts that connect to the facet joints in the back of your spine—so that he or she can move your spine into a more normal position. This improves stability and corrects spinal deformity. Once repositioned, your surgeon performs spinal fusion to permanently stabilize the bones in their new position.

During OLIF surgery, your surgeon removes discs from both sides of an affected vertebra and replaces them with spacers made of bone graft material. He or she then inserts a metal

How Long is OLIF Surgery?

How Long is OLIF Surgery
How Long is OLIF Surgery

It’s a commonly asked question. The answer is that OLIF surgery can be as short as 2 hours, or as long as 5 hours depending on the surgeon and the complexity of the patient’s case.

As mentioned above, Outcome in OLIF surgery depends on the nature of the problem. In most of the cases it is successful and patients recover quickly, get rid of pain, and lead a normal life.

However, the outcome of OLIF surgery depends on:

The patient’s health before surgery.

The severity of the spinal condition.

How well patient follows post-surgical instructions.

OLIF is a minimally invasive spine surgery performed by making an incision in the back of the patient’s hip. This approach allows for access to the lumbar spine without cutting through any muscles, thereby leading to less pain and a shorter recovery time. The operation is usually done as an outpatient procedure, meaning patients go home the same day.

The OLIF procedure allows the surgeon to remove the disc, decompress the spinal cord and nerve roots, access the spine from its natural opening and avoid splitting the back muscles. Because the recovery is faster and there is less postoperative pain, patients are discharged home an average of two days after surgery.

Can anyone explain if there is a difference between the three types of fusion surgeries: OLIF, XLIF and PLIF. I believe they are all done through the back, but can anyone provide some details on the differences?

The answer is not straightforward, as the time depends on a number of variables. However, it is typically around 2 hours. This can vary from 1.5-3 hours depending on a number of factors.

The approach used by your surgeon to access the spine will dictate the amount of time needed for surgery. For example, if an anterior approach is used to access the spine, then this will take less time than an anterior-lateral transpsoas approach. This is because the anterior approach involves less muscle dissection.

The level at which surgery is performed will also determine how long the procedure takes. The higher up in the spine (e.g., cervical spine), the quicker the operation will be, whereas if it is performed lower in the spine (e.g., thoracolumbar spine), it will take longer due to more intense dissection of surrounding structures and larger blood vessels that need avoiding in order to safely perform surgery