XLIF Advantages and Disadvantages
The advantages of this approach are that it does not require dissection or retraction of the sensitive back muscles, bone, or never, and allows for more complete disc removal and implant insertion compared with PLIF or TLIF. Nor does it require the delicate abdominal exposure or removal of the front ligament or present the same risk of vasular injury as an ALIF.
By allowing great access to the disc space, a larger implant can be used, which indirectly decompresses nerves by restoring disc height.
The disadvantage of this approach is the inability to directly address problems with nerves toward the back of the spine, if needed, and the need for a second procedure if screws and rods are necessary for added stability. These adjunctive procedure, however, can also be performed minimally disruptively using NuVasives® MAS Systems.