OLLIF: Oblique Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion

What is OLLIF?

OLLIF stands for OBLIQUE LATERAL LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION and gets its name for the angle taken when the surgeon accesses the spine through an area referred to as “Kambin’s triangle.” The OLLIF procedure is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that treats aging or degenerative intervertebral disc conditions. Unlike other spinal fusions, OLLIF can be performed as outpatient surgery.

How is OLLIF performed?

OLLIF is performed via a small incision on the patient’s side and the surgeon doesn’t have to move major muscles, bone structures, or nerve bundles. When the damaged area is ready, an implant with bone graft material is positioned into the space left by the excised disc. This procedure can effectively treat all lumbar levels of the spine.

Benefits of OLLIF

Every patient is different and their medical needs are unique, but some of the compelling benefits of OLLIF include:

  • Small incision
  • Less blood loss when compared to traditional methods
  • OLLIF can be completed in an outpatient setting
  • As a minimally invasive procedure, there is minimal disruption and many patients can get up, walk, and return home a few hours after surgery.
  • Because OLLIF is designed to avoid major muscles and preserve natural structures, there is less pain and faster recovery.