Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF)
Direct Lateral Interbody Fusion (DLIF) is a surgical procedure in which the front part of the lumbar spine is fused from the side. The surgeon makes an incision in the side between the lower ribs and the pelvis. Instruments pass through muscles and to the disc. Disc material is removed and a fusion graft is placed into the disc space. The graft is usually bone or a cage combined with bone.
The physician will use a fluoroscopy to determine the correct location to operate. Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique commonly used to obtain real-time moving images of the internal structures of a patient through the use of a fluoroscope. In its simplest form, a fluoroscope consists of an x-ray source and fluorescent screen between which a patient is placed. However, modern fluoroscopes couple the screen to an x-ray image intensifier and CCD video camera allowing the images to be recorded and played on a monitor.