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Procedure Details


The OLLIF procedure doesn’t make back surgery any more complicated than it needs to be. In fact, the OLLIF procedure was precisely engineered to simplify spinal fusion surgery in a number of critical ways.

1. Taking a nontraditional approach

Since the OLLIF Procedure is performed via a small 15 mm incision on the patient's side, the surgeon doesn't have to move, remove or alter major muscles, healthy bone structures or nerve bundles. Unlike most other spinal fusion approaches, the OLLIF procedure can be used to effectively treat all lumbar levels of the spine. 

2. Access granted

Entering through Kambin's Triangle, a small probe sheathed in a special dilation tube (to protect skin, muscle, and nerves) is used to access and remove the damaged or diseased disc.

3. Fusion solution

A biocompatible polymer implant, along with bone graft material, is then positioned into the empty space left by the removed disc. This implant material maintains proper spacing of the vertebrae while the fusion takes place. Typically, a posterior fixation with pedicle or facet screws also accompanies this procedure.

4. A solid success

Once the adjacent vertebrae are joined together by a solid “bridge” of new bone mass, the fusion process is complete.

5. Mission accomplished

The OLLIF procedure alleviates back pain by reestablishing correct disc height and stopping movement.


While every back patient’s medical needs are unique, the full scope of compelling benefits offered by the OLLIF procedure is available to many patients considering lumbar fusion procedure.

Most notable, these can include:

  • Less blood loss than other traditional methods
  • Smaller incision sites
  • Often the OLLIF procedure is available in a more convenient, outpatient environment. Which means no hospitalization may be required.
  • Typically, an OLLIF procedure takes less than 90 minutes and less time in the O.R. can promote a quicker recovery
  • Because the OLLIF procedure is minimally invasive and minimally disruptive compared to other approaches, many patients are able to get up, walk around, and return home within a few hours after surgery.
  • Since the OLLIF procedure is designed to avoid any major muscles and preserve healthy, natural structures the procedure may result in less pain and trauma to the back. Promoting a faster recovery. Typically OLLIF patients experience recovery and a return to normal recreational activities in a few weeks.