Asian Spine J.  2015 Dec;9(6):978-983. 10.4184/asj.2015.9.6.978.

Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Ruby Hall Clinic and Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, India.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, NY, USA.


The lateral lumbar interbody fusion (LLIF) is a relatively new technique that allows the surgeon to access the intervertebral space from a direct lateral approach either anterior to or through the psoas muscle. This approach provides an alternative to anterior lumbar interbody fusion with instrumentation, posterior lumbar interbody fusion, and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for anterior column support. LLIF is minimally invasive, safe, better structural support from the apophyseal ring, potential for coronal plane deformity correction, and indirect decompression, which have has made this technique popular. LLIF is currently being utilized for a variety of pathologies including but not limited to adult de novo lumbar scoliosis, central and foraminal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and adjacent segment degeneration. Although early clinical outcomes have been good, the potential for significant neurological and vascular vertebral endplate complications exists. Nevertheless, LLIF is a promising technique with the potential to more effectively treat complex adult de novo scoliosis and achieve predictable fusion while avoiding the complications of traditional anterior surgery and posterior interbody techniques.


Lateral lumbar fusion; Minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery; Spondylolisthesis
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