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Doctor insights on: What Does It Mean To Have Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

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Dr. Bernard Seif
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Lumbar (Definition)

The lumbar part of the spine is the low back. It is made up of five bones (most of the time) stacked one on top of the other. They are connected by disks, facet joints, and ligaments. These soft parts allow for movement controlled by the spinal muscles; the muscles can also keep it stiff when need be. The lumbar spine also contains and protects nerves to ...Read more


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What does it mean to have posterior lumbar interbody fusion?

PLIF procedure: A posterior lumbar interbody fusion (plif) is a procedure in which an unstable lumbar segment is fused in conjunction with a decompressive laminectomy. As part of the fusion, bone grafting (often with a cage device) is placed into the disc space to allow for fusion, but also helps re-align the segment. It can be performed with open and minimal invasive techniques. ...Read more

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Has anyone done a posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery?

Has anyone done a posterior lumbar interbody fusion surgery?

Sure: This is a very good operation for the right patient. It provides both decompression and stabilization and has good results for the great majority of patients. ...Read more

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How is an anterior lumbar interbody fusion different from a posterior lumbar ?

How is an anterior lumbar interbody fusion different from a posterior lumbar ?

The approach: Anterior lumbar fusions utilize an approach through the abdomen called a retro peritoneal approach. This approach actually never enters the cavity containing the intestines, rather goes around it. This approach will allow access to the lumbar spine for fusion. The approach carries risks because the large veins and arteries need to be moved. ...Read more

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What are the possible risks of NOT having surgery when anterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior fixation is indicated (ALIF L4,L5,S1,fix L5-S1?

What are the possible risks of NOT having surgery when anterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior fixation is indicated (ALIF L4,L5,S1,fix L5-S1?

Depends: Have you tried nonsurgical options? Surgery is typically indicated if you're having neurologic dysfunction and/or chronic intractable pain from a serious disc herniation and have failed to improve with conservative options. At your age make sure that you've had a couple of opinions and have tried nonsurgical options including physical therapy, medication, and possibly injections ...Read more

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I am 52. Psa level is 34.5. 7 years ago, had medtronic infuse rhbmp for a posterior lumbar fusion that raises the risk of pc. What is the outlook?

Please clarify: What is rhbmp? I am unaware of this product or any associated risk of prostate cancer. In any event, a psa of 34 at your age merits a prostate biopsy to make sure cancer is not resent. Please consult a local urologist promptly. ...Read more

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I had a t2-l1 posterior spinal fusion 5 years ago. I having been experiencing pain in my cervical and lumbar spine. Is this due to degeneration?

I had a t2-l1 posterior spinal fusion 5 years ago. I having been experiencing pain in my cervical and lumbar spine. Is this due to degeneration?

Possibly: At your age, the reason why you had the spinal fusion is important as degenerative disease is uncommon without underlying trauma or other arthropathy. Pain in the lumbar region that is due to muscle spasm can transmit/radiate to neck and neck pain can transmit/radiate to the lower back. Need to discuss the discomfort with your physician. ...Read more

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MRI results of lumbar spine: Small synovial cysts along the posterior aspect of the left articular facet? What does this mean in 30yr old female

MRI results of lumbar spine: Small synovial cysts along the posterior aspect of the left articular facet? What does this mean in 30yr old female

No real issue: Synovial cysts are congenital variations of no significance unless they substantially enlarge, and in your case, seem a co-incidental finding of little relevance. Discuss in more detail with your doctor and have him/her demonstrate the findings on the films to provide further reassurance. ...Read more

Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more