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MIS-DLIF – Direct Lateral Interbody Fusions

Like other MIS (minimally invasive) keyhole spine procedures, the MIS-DLIF requires a significantly shorter recovery time and offers less risk compared to traditional, invasive methods. This procedure is the result of the latest advances in spinal fusion and stands for direct lateral interbody fusion, because it approaches the spine from the side (lateral = “from the side”).

One of several procedures developed by Inspired Spine, it is a keyhole technique that enables spinal fusion in hard-to-reach areas, such as the space between the bottom of the spine and the sacrum (L5-S1).

How MIS DLIF Compares to Traditional Approaches

Before the development of MIS DLIF, surgeons would only perform a procedure known as XLIF, the lateral lumbar interbody fusion. This procedure is highly effective but has limitations. It can be extremely challenging to perform on the lowest portions of the lumbar spine since the pelvis blocks the surgical instruments. It is also hard to perform on the upper lumbar area due to the ribs getting in the way. As an added obstacle, the patient needs to be repositioned in the middle of the operation, increasing the length of the surgery.

The MIS-DLIF avoids all of these negatives – and more – while still providing the full benefits of effective back pain relief:

  • The XLIF is an “open” invasive procedure. It requires one or more incisions large enough to insert retractors that split muscle fibers apart in order to provide the surgeon with a direct view of the spine.
  • The MIS DLIF is truly minimally invasive. It is performed through a tiny keyhole portal that protects muscles and connective tissue. The surgeon guides the procedure by viewing magnified x-ray images projected on monitors. This eliminates the need for moving tissues and muscles aside.
  • With the XLIF, the surgeon has to remove spinal joints, further increasing the invasiveness and damage to healthy natural structures.
  • With the MIS-DLIF, the only thing the surgeon has to remove is the diseased disc.

There is also less bleeding due to the minimally invasive keyhole nature of the procedure, reducing the risk.

Very Fast Recovery Time

For patients, one of the greatest benefits of MIS-DLIF is the fast recovery time. With a smaller incision, no removal of spinal joints, and no damage to muscles and connective tissues, there is simply less trauma to recover from. As a result:

  • You can be up and walking around in a matter of hours
  • You spend less time in the hospital
  • In fact, half of Inspired Spine patients go home on the same day – within 2 to 4 hours after their surgery. The other half went home the morning after.1 Considering most spinal fusion surgeries require at least several days in the hospital, this is groundbreaking.
  • Expect to be able to return to work and normal activities within weeks, as opposed to months for traditional fusions.

Minimal Blood Less and Fewer Complications

In the MIS-DLIF initial study to confirm its results, the blood loss of patients was truly minimal. Patients with one level only had an average of 54 ml blood loss, with two-level patients losing 112 ml. By comparison, multiple studies have shown an average of at least several hundred milliliters of blood loss, if not at least 500 ml, for XLIF surgeries.

Safe and Effective

The MIS DLIF procedure might be among the newest spinal surgical techniques available, but it has already proven to be safe and effective. Based on a 10-point sliding scale for pain, patients reported a decrease of an impressive 4.5 points three months after surgery. With such minimal risks and strong results, the MIS DLIF is one of the top choices for those who prefer a quick recovery time and reduced complications.

Are You a Candidate for MIS-DLIF?

Have you suffered from lower back or leg pain for 6 months or longer? Have you tried conservative treatments with no relief? Then you may be a perfect candidate for a keyhole MIS-DLIF procedure. To find out, sign up for a


OR call 727-MY-SPINE to talk to a patient care specialist.

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