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A Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) is a surgical procedure that approaches the spine from the back (posterior) of the body. During a PLIF procedure, a damaged spinal disc is removed, then replaced with bone graft material which “fuses” with the two adjacent vertebrae. This fusion creates a bridge of bone growth between the vertebrae, forming a solid bone. This process restores stability in the spine and reduces pain and other symptoms caused by the damaged spinal disc, including nerve damage.

A PLIF may be recommended in situations involving spine conditions characterized by lower spine instability, pain, muscle weakness that do not respond to non-surgical treatments. Common spine conditions treated by Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion include:

If you have symptoms that have not improved with physical therapy or other forms of conservative care and positive diagnostic results, you may need Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Try our treatment finder tool below to see if Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion is the right treatment for you.


When conservative, non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy and medication are no longer effective in improving your spine condition, or your spine condition is worsening, your Oasis spine specialist may recommend a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

To determine if you qualify for a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, your Oasis spine specialist will thoroughly assess your medical history, spine condition symptoms, the progression of your situation. Imaging such as an x-ray or MRI may also be required.

Patients that undergo Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) generally achieve the intended decrease in pain, corrections of any spinal deformity, and improved stability. At Oasis Orthopedic & Spine, a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion can be performed using minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. This means your Oasis surgeon uses a small incision followed by gently moving aside the muscles and soft tissues (rather than cutting through them) to access your spine.

A Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion using minimally invasive spine surgery techniques is significantly less traumatic to your body and offers a faster recovery. This also means post-operative pain is less and hospital stays are shorter. This surgical technique is known for producing high success rates for patients.

Treating your spine condition with a Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion can allow you to return to normal activities without pain. If you have exhausted all non-surgical, conservative treatments and have not found lasting relief from your pain, find out if you qualify for Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with our candidacy check tool below.

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