Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

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What is a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

A Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion can deliver permanent relief from the unrelenting pain of an injured or unstable lumbar spine.

Your lumbar spine—situated between your rib cage and sacrum—comprises some of the largest and most active vertebrae in your back. More specifically, your exceptionally agile lower back enables bending, twisting, turning, and lifting heavy objects. Simultaneously, while executing all of these movements, your lumbar spine also supports the vast majority of the upper body’s weight.

Because we rely on our lumber spine constantly, our lower back suffers a higher propensity for injury and age-related degeneration. Common back problems include: degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, adult scoliosis, and spinal stenosis. Furthermore, all of these conditions can lead to pain, numbness, stiffness, immobility, and incapacitation. Whether you suffer from herniated disc pain, bone spurs, or progressive scoliosis, a PLIF can restore your spinal stability.

A PLIF typically unfolds in the following steps:

  1. First, your surgeon will make a small incision on your posterior spine, above the targeted location for treatment.
  2. Next, your surgeon will use specialized tools to hold this incision open, permitting proper access and visibility of the affected vertebrae.
  3. Then, your orthopedist will implant screws to reinforce the vertebrae that will undergo the fusion process.
  4. After inserting this mechanical hardware, your physician will remove any bone spurs or other bony obstructions.
  5. Finally, your doctor will remove and replace any damaged discs with a bone graft that restores lost height to the spine
  6. For stabilization purposes, your surgeon will attach rods to the previously implanted screws. This additional reinforcement will aid in the proper fusion and stabilization of the bone graft implant during healing.

A primary cause of call-outs from work, back pain can also make us avoid the activities that we love and lose time with our friends and family. However, you don’t have to suffer any longer. Together with his team of specialized clinicians, Dr. Frazier of NYC Spine can provide the pain-relieving intervention that you need. A world-renowned spine surgeon with several decades of formal training, Dr. Frazier delivers the up-to-date and conservative spine treatments.

If you have any further questions about the PLIF procedure, do not hesitate to give Dr. Frazier and his team a call. His patient advocates will be happy to discuss all of your options for pain relief!

Can a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) help me?

Answer questions about your pain history & we'll recommend the best treatment options for you.

What are the Benefits of a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

The benefits of a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) stem from its minimally invasive nature and state-of-the-art materials and techniques. Especially when compared to traditional open-back methods, you can rest assured that a PLIF will promote accelerated healing. Some of the most notable advantages of a PLIF include:

  • Smaller Incisions Smaller incisions mean less disruption to the body’s tissues and minimal blood loss.
  • Less Scarring & Pain With less damage to surrounding muscles and tissues also comes less scarring and pain during the recovery process.
  • Short Hospital Stays Because your surgeon will take a minimally invasive approach, your spine will endure less overall trauma. Furthermore, this process will result in less time spent under medical supervision. In fact, many individuals can get out of bed on the same day as surgery and can leave the hospital after just one night.
  • Expedited Recovery Time Due to less trauma inflicted on the body, you can count on a shorter recovery time with a minimally invasive PLIF. This means that you can get back to living your life as soon as possible!

Dr. Frazier is a world-class surgeon and respected expert in the orthopedic world. Using only the most up-to-date and state-of-the-art technologies, he has delivered pain relief to thousands of individuals. Searching for answers to your back-pain questions? You can trust that Dr. Frazier has the answers.

How do I know if I need a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

Request a free MRI review & our world-renowned orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Frazier, will evaluate your treatment needs.

Do I Qualify for a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

Regardless of your condition, any type of spine surgery should be considered only as a last resort. For this reason, your doctor will help you evaluate all of your conservative treatment options before undergoing surgery. For instance, you should explore pain management medications, physical therapy, weight loss, and other alternative therapies before choosing surgery. If you have exhausted all forms of noninvasive treatment, then a PLIF may provide a more permanent solution.

At the same time, certain medical conditions could disqualify individuals from undergoing this procedure. For example, individuals with severe spinal instability from osteoporosis or infections should not have this procedure. In addition, individuals with allergies to certain surgical materials will not be deemed a candidate for this operation.

However, the best way to evaluate your options for relief from your spinal pain is to discuss them with a physician. With Dr. Frazier you will have an ally in your journey to pain relief. Call our team at NYC Spine today to set up your first appointment!

Am I a candidate for a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)?

Determine your eligibility for conservative & minimally invasive treatments.

Dr. Frazier is a Harvard-trained, board certified orthopedic spine surgeon. He’s held an academic appointment at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York’s SUNY Downstate. Dr. Frazier is also a respected lecturer, accomplished researcher, published author on spine disorders and treatment, and a consultant for several international spine companies.

After completing his undergraduate education at Brown University, Dr. Frazier attended Harvard Medical School, where he graduated cum laude. He completed a Harvard internship based at the New England Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA, followed by a Harvard combined residency before becoming chief resident at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Education & Training

  • MD / Cum Laude

    Harvard Medical School

  • Chief Resident

    Mass. General Hospital

  • Lecturer

    Columbia University

  • Spinal Deformity Fellowship

    Doctor’s Hospital (Miami, FL)