Creative and Innovative Spine Technology from NuVasive ©

NuVasive © is best known for its development of the XLIF © procedure. By accessing the spine from the side of the body, XLIF (Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion) eliminates the debilitating effects of cutting back muscles, removing bone, and retracting the neural elements that are typically experienced after a conventional posterior surgical approach (PLIF). Additionally, XLIF avoids retraction of internal organs and major blood vessels as is necessary in the conventional anterior surgical approach (ALIF) to reach the spine. XLIF is a safe and reproducible approach with minimal disruption, making post-op recovery easier for the patient.

The XLIF procedure for lumbar fusion was developed to overcome the obstacles of both anterior (front) and posterior (back) approaches to access the spine. XLIF avoids significant musculature disruption by utilizing a natural path from the side of the body to the spine. This is called “lateral access.” The highly integrated MAS © (Maximum Access Surgery) System provides significant benefits to patients, including reduced surgery time, less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and significantly faster recovery time.

The XLIF approach does not require back muscle and bone dissection or nerve retraction; it also allows for a more complete disc removal and predictable implant insertion, compared with traditional posterior procedures. XLIF also does not require the delicate abdominal exposure or present the same risk of vascular injury as traditional anterior procedures.

Because the procedure is less disruptive than conventional posterior or anterior surgery, most patients are able to get up and walk around within a day of the surgery. In general, XLIF surgery results in faster recovery and return to normal activities.

The less-disruptive lateral approach by NuVasive is a breakthrough for spine patients, but it is of particular benefit for active patients who want to return to their active lifestyles more quickly and easily, or those who cannot tolerate a larger, open procedure because of the increased risks of longer anesthesia time, greater blood loss, longer hospitalization, and longer recovery.

The XLIF © minimally disruptive procedure can be performed for a number of situations. Any thoracolumbar case above L5-S1 requiring access to the disc space and/or vertebral bodies.
It is important that you discuss the potential risks, complications, and benefits of XLIF © with your doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician's judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.

Clinical Validation Demonstrating Safety and Reproducibility

Comparison of cost and clinical outcomes for one and two‐level open exposure ALIF and minimally invasive XLIF 202 patients (87 ALIF, 115 XLIF)

OR Time: 38% decrease

Blood Loss: 73% decrease

Hospital Stay: 55.6% decrease

Complications: 16.7% (ALIF) v 8.2% (XLIF): 50.1% decrease

  • XLIF is the only lateral approach procedure validated by nearly a decade of clinical experience.
  • Documented safety with excellent clinical outcomes.
  • When compared to traditional fusions, XLIF has demonstrated reduced blood loss, less O.R. time, and shorter hospital stay.


  • Improved patient care
  • Increased O.R. efficiency (from 3 hrs. down to less than 1 hr.)
  • Less time making rounds


  • Shorter hospital stay (discharged same day or after 1 night, vs. 3-4 days)
  • Faster return to normal activities (4-6 weeks vs. 12 weeks)


  • Reduced total cost of procedure (savings of ~10%) *

* Deluzio KJ, Lucio JC, Rodgers WB. SAS Journal 4:37-40, 2010.traditional fusions, XLIF has demonstrated reduced blood loss, less O.R. time, and shorter hospital stay.

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