A posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a surgical technique that involves correction of the spinal problems at the base of the spine by placing bone graft between two vertebrae.
Minimally invasive surgical techniques may be employed to perform the procedure.
PLIF is recommended when the non-surgical treatment measures such as rest, physical therapy or medications fail to reduce the symptoms (pain, numbness, and weakness).
Some of the common indications are:
The basic steps involved are as follows:
Patients who undergo PLIF are generally in hospital for six days. Patients are discharged home when they are getting themselves in and out of bed, pain is controlled, going to the bathroom by them and eating and drinking. At ten to fourteen days post operatively the patients are advised to visit their GP for a wound check.
Follow up is at six weeks post operatively.
The complications associated with PLIF surgery include infection, nerve damage, blood clots or blood loss, bowel and bladder problems and problems associated with anaesthesia. The primary risk of spinal fusion surgery is failure of fusion of vertebral bone and bone graft which may require an additional surgery.
Talk to your surgeon if you have concerns regarding PLIF procedure.