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Practice Policy Update regarding COVID-19

Interlaminar Lumbar Instrumented Fusion

The lumbar spine consists of 5 vertebral bones that surround and protect the central spinal cord at the region of the lower back. Each vertebra forms a bony covering over the back of the spinal cord called the lamina, and a bony projection, called a spinous process, which can be felt when you touch your backbone. Degeneration (wear and tear), trauma, disease or deformity of the lumbar spine can compress the spinal cord or nerves that branch out through the vertebrae (spinal stenosis). This can cause lower back pain as well as pain, numbness or weakness in the legs. Interlaminar lumbar instrumented fusion (ILIF) is a surgical technique to decompress nerves as a result of conditions such as spondylolisthesis (slipping of a vertebra) and degenerative arthritis (wear and tear of intervertebral discs).

ILIF is performed through a minimally invasive procedure under general anesthesia. Your surgeon makes a midline incision in your back over the diseased vertebra. Portions of the spinous process and lamina between them are removed to decompress the nerve or spinal cord. Bone graft is shaped to fit this cleared space and placed between the spinous processes to protect the decompressed nerves and promote the fusion of the vertebral bones. A metal implant is placed over the graft and clamped to the spinous processes to provide stability while fusion occurs. The incision is then sutured and bandaged. You will be discharged on the same day of the procedure or may be hospitalized for a day.

ILIF overcomes the disadvantages of traditional decompression surgeries and reduces operative time, blood loss, scarring, post-surgery pain and hospital stay, and promotes quick return to daily activities.

As with any surgical procedure, interlaminar lumbar instrumented fusion may be associated with certain risks which include spinous process fracture, failure of instrumentation, non-fusion, dislocation of the allograft spacer and allergic reaction to the components.

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