Dr. Patrick Senatus is pleased to announce that he will now be offering Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) at his Vernon, CT, and New York City locations. XLIF is a minimally invasive procedure used to reduce chronic back and leg pain and treat spinal disorders that have not responded to other treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy, and steroid injections. It is different from traditional procedures in that it allows the surgeon to access the area between each disc from the side of the patient rather than the back or the front; this means that the procedure requires moving fewer muscles and bones.

Advantages of XLIF

The benefits of XLIF include:

  • Shorter surgeries: XLIF can take as little as an hour or less, reducing the time the patient must be under anesthesia when compared to traditional procedures.
  • Less bleeding and scarring: This is a minimally invasive procedure that results in less disruption of tissue and less blood loss.
  • Shorter recovery times: Some patients receiving XLIF require only an overnight hospital stay and experience a faster return to their normal activities. On the other hand, traditional procedures often necessitate months for full recovery.
  • Less pain: XLIF does not disrupt the patient’s bones, muscles, and ligaments in the way traditional procedures can; therefore, patients often experience much less discomfort with XLIF.

Who can get XLIF?

XLIF can be used to treat a variety of lower spine disorders including adjacent level syndrome, degenerative scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, degenerative spondylolisthesis, post-laminectomy syndrome, posterior pseudoarthrosis, and recurring disc herniation. XLIF is not suitable for patients with certain conditions; your neurosurgeon will discuss your options with you and help you decide on the proper treatment for your unique situation and needs.

The procedure

A patient receiving XLIF is under general anesthesia and sleeps through the entire surgery. Nerve monitoring (electromyography) is used throughout the process to prevent nerve damage. Once the patient is asleep, they are positioned on their side, and the surgeon uses an x-ray to locate the affected disc. They will then make two small incisions to access the area with the appropriate instruments. Nerve monitoring and x-rays help the surgeon avoid nerves and other sensitive areas. The affected disc is removed and replaced with an implant. The surgeon then fills the implant with bone graft for fusion. Depending on different factors, the surgeon may use additional support to stabilize the spine such as screws or plates. The incisions are closed with just a few stitches.


XLIF is minimally invasive, and most patients are up and walking the same day. They are usually able to return home the following day. It is essential to follow any post-surgery instructions carefully to ensure the fastest recovery and best results.

Dr. Senatus has extensive experience and knowledge in the field of corrective and minimally invasive spine surgery. He is dedicated to ongoing education and improvement in his area and is passionate about using the latest innovative techniques to provide his patients with the best possible outcomes. Contact Dr. Senatus for more information on XLIF or one of the other procedures he offers.