Open TLIF Using Minimally Invasive Method
As surgical techniques change, patient outcomes must be reviewed. In this study doctors report on a new blade retractor system (MaXcess) used during spinal fusion. The newer transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) approach was used.

With TLIF the disc is removed and fusion done from one side of the vertebra. There's less damage done to the soft tissues. With only one side disrupted, stability of the spine is saved on the other side.

The new blade retractor system allows the surgeon to use a small incision but still see what he or she is doing. The retractor lets the surgeon make what is called an operative corridor. This passage way eliminates the need for endoscopes or microscopes to see inside.

All this is done with a small incision similar to the minimally invasive operation. The surgeon and patient have the best of both worlds. The patient has low blood loss and shorter operative time. The surgeon doesn't have to move the instruments and operate by watching a TV screen.

Results were measured using pain, disability, and number of days in the hospital. X-rays were used to see the results of the fusion. Good to excellent results suggest the use of the MaXcess TLIF is both safe and effective.
References
Burak M. Ozgur, MD, et al. Minimally Disruptive Decompression and Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion. In The Spine Journal. January/February 2006. Vol. 6. No. 1. Pp. 27-33.