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Spine Surgery

Dr. Alan Moelleken

Alan Moelleken, MD

TLIF A transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a type of spine surgery that involves approaching the spine from the back, or posterior, of the body to place bone graft between two vertebrae. The procedure may be performed using minimally invasive surgical techniques.

PLIF A posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) is a type of spinal surgery that involves removing damaged disc material and inserting a bone graft between two vertebrae. “Posterior” refers to the method of approaching the spine from the back of the body, and “lumbar” refers to the lower region of the spine. PLIF is particularly useful in the correction of degenerative lumbar deformity such as spondylolisthesis, scoliosis or disc space collapse and in the management of associated of neurological compression.

SafeSpine® is a surgical technique that uses a blunt probe to push ligaments and nerves aside instead of cutting through them during a Micro-Lumbar Discectomy.  The result is decreased neurological injury, which reduces recovery time and pain, and may result in an overall better outcome for the patient.

MiniFuse® is a minimally invasive fusion of the lumbar spine that uses 3 small incisions as opposed to 1 large incision. This outpatient procedure allows the patient to go home the same day, minimizes blood loss, reduces recovery time and pain, and may result in an overall better outcome for the patient.

Anterior Cervical Decompression and Fusion (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines English | Spanish)

(includes fusions with metallic and other implants, bone grafting procedures, and spinal instrumentation, microsurgical decompression)

Procedure performed to remove pressure from the spinal cord and/or nerve roots through the removal of intervertebral discs. Bone or strut grafts, with or without the addition of supporting titanium plates and screws, are then inserted to replace removed discs, and fuse the vertebra to achieve stability.

Anterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines English | Spanish)

(includes mini-open approach, laparoscopic and thoracoscopic techniques, endoscopic fusions, and endoscopic micro disc surgery)

Procedure performed to reduce back or leg pain caused by natural degeneration of disc space. Through an incision in the abdomen, a portion of the affected disc space is removed and replaced with an implant that may or may not be supported by screws and rods inserted at the back of the spine.

Kyphoplasty (Pre-operation guidelines)

Minimally invasive procedure guided by fluoroscopy designed to stop pain caused by spinal fracture. A small balloon inserted into the vertebrae through a tube elevates the fracture and returns it to a more normal position.

Micro-Lumbar Discectomy or Laminectomy (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines)

Minimally invasive surgical decompression procedure used to remove the portion of the intervertebral disc that is compressing the spinal nerve root in patients with lumbar herniated discs.

Posterior Cervical Microsurgical Decompression/Foraminotomy (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines English | Spanish)

Minimally invasive procedure designed to reduce neck pain through the decompression of single or multiple cervical nerve roots.

Posterior Cervical Microsurgical Decompression and Fusion (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines English | Spanish)

Minimally invasive procedure used to treat abnormal movement, pain, and/or narrowing of the cervical spine. Microsurgery is performed to decompress the spinal cord and/or nerves, and small titanium screws are inserted to help stabilize abnormal movement or neck instability.

Posterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion (includes minimally-invasive techniques) (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines English | Spanish)
Procedure used to combine and immobilize two or more vertebrae in order to eliminate pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae.

Posterior Scoliosis Fusion (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines Spanish)
Procedure performed to correct severe curvature of the spine. An incision is made straight down the back to allow for the insertion of rods and screws used to straighten and stabilize the spine while bone fusion occurs.

Posterior TruFuse procedure (minimally invasive) (Pre-operation guidelines)

Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement (Pre-operation guidelines) (Post-operation guidelines)
Procedure performed to reduce pain caused from a herniated or ruptured disc, or from degenerative disc disease. An artificial disc in inserted into the disc space, preserving natural motion of the cervical spine by functioning as a joint.

Lumbar Artificial Disc Replacement (Pre-operation guidelines)
Procedure performed to reduce pain caused from a herniated or ruptured disc, or from degenerative disc disease. An artificial disc in inserted into the disc space, preserving natural motion of the lumbar spine by functioning as a joint.