Lumbar Interbody Fusion (IBF; LIF)


This surgery helps a painful lower spine. It treats a degenerated or damaged disc. The bad disc is removed and the vertebra bones above and below that disc are joined together. A fusion can reduce or eliminate your pain.


To begin, you are put to sleep. An incision is made on the front, back or side of your abdomen. Before your surgery, your surgeon will let you know which type of approach is best for your needs.

Stabilizing your spine

The surgeon removes damaged disc material. Your vertebrae may have shifted out of place, creating pressure against your nerves. If so, the vertebrae are moved into a more natural position. Then, your surgeon puts in one or more interbody devices. An interbody device is an implant that is packed with bone graft material. There are many types. They come in different shapes, sizes and styles. Your surgeon chooses the type that's best for you. The implant fills the space where your disc used to be. As your spine heals, the graft material helps new bone grow between your vertebrae. We call this a "fusion."

End of procedure

After the surgery, you are watched in a recovery room as you wake up. Your surgeon will tell you when you can go home. Follow your surgeon's advice for a safe recovery.