What complications might occur after an XLIF/DLIF?

Your doctor will tell you what symptoms you should look out for as they might indicate that you are at risk of developing complications.

After undergoing XLIF/DLIF lateral fusion, pay attention to the following symptoms that require medical attention:

  • fever
  • signs of infection near the surgical wound
  • incision that separates
  • swelling
  • increasing pain
  • drainage

Like any other surgery, the eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF) procedure may involve certain complications, such as:

  • anesthetic reaction
  • vertebrae failure to fuse
  • deep vein thrombosis
  • further progression of existing spinal condition
  • infection
  • muscle weakness and hip flexing difficulties
  • nerve damage
  • persistent pain at the site of bone graft harvest
  • pneumonia
  • stroke
  • urinary tract infection
  • vascular injury

XLIF/DLIF lateral fusion benefits outweigh the potential risks

XLIF is a minimally invasive procedure performed through small incisions instead of the traditional larger incision.

This spinal procedure is designed to accomplish spinal fusion, generating a series of advantages, as follows:

  • reduced operative time
  • diminished blood loss and scarring
  • decreased postoperative pain and discomfort
  • short hospital stay
  • quick recovery time and return to everyday routines
  • minimal tissue damage

Due to its reduced trauma to the spine and nearby tissues, patients often return to their regular activities within six weeks.


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Source: https://www.cedars-sinai.edu/Education/Medical-Library/