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What is an eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) Corpectomy?
A minimally invasive procedure, the XLIF Corpectomy benefits individuals who suffer from excruciating back pain or diminished quality-of-life.
More specifically, surgeons developed this procedure to treat individuals with severe damage to their thoracic and lumbar spine. This expanse includes the 12 thoracic and 5 lumbar vertebrae, as well as the 17 intervertebral discs that lie between. In particular, the lumbar spine contains some of the largest vertebrae in the back. Responsible for bearing much of the torso’s weight, the lumbar spine also absorbs everyday forces that jolt the spine. Taken together, however, the thoracic and lumbar region are known as the thoracolumbar spine. And, when either region suffers damage, incapacitating pain can result.
Correspondingly, surgeons use the XLIF Corpectomy to relieve the pain from thoracolumbar fractures and spinal tumors. Furthermore, this state-of-the-art procedure utilizes cutting-edge techniques to remove damaged vertebrae and discs. Following extraction, your doctor will replace these structures with an implant that delivers long-term stabilization and effective pain relief.
A multifaceted and specialized procedure, the XLIF Corpectomy (usually) involves the following steps:
- As you lie on your side, your surgeon will make two small incisions in the side of your torso. Moreover, your physician will make one of these incisions directly above the affected vertebrae on the skin surface. This tiny opening will be used for the majority of the procedure. In addition, your surgeon will place a second incision directly behind the first. This second passageway will enable the insertion of scopes for live visualization during the procedure.
- Your doctor will use x-rays and imaging techniques to plan for optimal access to the affected vertebrae. These images will enable your surgeon to avoid vital organs, muscles, tissues, and nerves.
- Using specialized instruments, the surgeon will remove portions (or all) of the damaged materials. In some cases, removal may involve entire vertebrae or intervertebral discs.
- The intact, adjacent vertebrae will be prepped to receive the implant. Your doctor will place an expandable implant between the vertebrae, which he/she will extend to restore the spine’s original height. Gradually, this implant will fuse with adjacent vertebrae during the healing process.
- Your surgeon may attach additional devices to the implant and adjacent vertebrae to provide stability during the fusion process. This stage of the procedure often includes the attachment of plates and screws to enhance the healing process and successful fusion.
- Recovery following surgery can include 1-5 days in the hospital or the limited use of a brace for supportive healing. In addition, your doctor will encourage gentle movement within 24 hours of surgery. Likewise, your doctor will prescribe physical therapy and follow-up patient appointments to ensure your long-term spinal health.
Dr. Frazier of NYC Spine routinely performs the spectrum of minimally invasive spinal surgeries, including the XLIF Corpectomy. Recognized world-wide for his expertise, Dr. Frazier will work tirelessly to provide you with individualize care. No one wants to have spine surgery. But, under Dr. Frazier’s guidance, you can trust your procedure to be executed with superior skill and attention.
Can an XLIF Corpectomy help me?
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What are the Benefits of an XLIF Corpectomy?
Traditional, open-back procedures required large incisions, unnecessary blood loss and scarring, and long recovery times. By contrast, minimally invasive procedures provide patients with safer, less painful, and more effective opportunities to relieve pain. Benefits of an XLIF Corpectomy include the following:
- Lateral Entry: Surgical entry from the side of the body allows your surgeon to bypass the thick muscles of your back. Less damage to nerves, muscles, and ligaments allows for a faster recovery following surgery.
- Smaller Incisions: Small incisions lead to less blood loss, pain, chances for infection—and ultimately—a shorter recovery time.
- Shorter Hospital Stays: Because the XLIF Corpectomy causes minimal tissue disruption, your body requires less time to recover. Although you’ll still need to take it easy for a while, this surgical technique allows you to return to the comfort of your home within days.
- Faster Recovery Period: Because of the benefits outlined above, you’ll spend less time in bed than with traditional procedures.
Dr. Frazier and his team know that excellent quality of life is fundamental to happiness. Family, careers, hobbies, travel… All of these begin to take the backseat when dealing with debilitating pain. Don’t suffer from an injured spine any longer. Our team will provide you with the treatments, surgeries, and therapies that will empower you to enjoy your life.
How do I know if I need an XLIF Corpectomy?
Request a free MRI review & our world-renowned orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Frazier, will evaluate your treatment needs.
Do I Qualify for an XLIF Corpectomy?
If you are facing the chronic consequences of damaged vertebrae, then an XLIF Corpectomy may be able to help you heal. In particular, individuals with complex spinal fractures, damaged intervertebral discs, or spinal cord compression will benefit from this intervention.
In addition, those suffering from the debilitating effects of spinal tumors may experience profound relief after undergoing this procedure.
Keep in mind, however, that certain situations may disqualify one from receiving this procedure. Systemic or localized infections, or other severe medical conditions, may render this procedure unfeasible. Further, if the vertebrae are fragile due to osteoporosis or other destabilizing diseases, then the spine may not be able to support the implants and fusion materials required for this procedure.
Spine surgery is no small endeavor. It must be entered into with knowledge and understanding. From your initial examination to postoperative recovery, the NYC Spine team will help you navigate the entire process. Contact Dr. Frazier today to begin your pain relief journey!
Am I a candidate for an XLIF Corpectomy?
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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
Mass. General Hospital
Spinal Deformity Fellowship
Doctor’s Hospital (Miami, FL)