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The OptiLIF procedure is the latest advancement in minimally invasive interbody fusion surgery. It offers enduring pain relief using the smallest surgical exposure available for interbody fusion. 

During the procedure, a surgeon will access your disc through a one-centimeter incision using a tube roughly the size of a common soda straw. This approach allows your surgeon to avoid the major nerves and arteries that surround the spine, reducing the risk compared to other surgical approaches. 

The surgeon will remove the degenerative disc material and insert an OptiMesh implant in its place. Once the implant is in the disc space, it is filled with bone graft and expands to restore disc height, and provide spinal support and stability.

Together, OptiLIF’s small access tube and unique implant provide a procedure that conserves your anatomy and decreases the pain caused by stress on the nerves and muscles surrounding your spine.  If you and your surgeon decide the OptiLIF procedure is best for you, you may experience a small incision, minimal postoperative pain, and quick return to daily activities.

Fast Recovery

Following an OptiLIF procedure, you will be up and walking the same day or the following day, and you may be able to go home the same day as your surgery or within a day or two, depending on the extent of your condition. Recovery will start immediately and be an ongoing process. Working closely with a physical therapist on correct movement and exercises and following your doctor’s instructions will aid your recovery. Most patients report significant pain relief immediately after surgery, and you may continue to show improvements in pain and function for up to a year after your surgery.

Long-Lasting Pain Relief with the OptiLIF Procedure

The OptiLIF procedure has demonstrated significant improvement in patient low back and leg pain.  According to a 102-patient FDA IDE study: 


Fast Return to Normal Activities with the OptiLIF Procedure

Patients undergoing the OptiLIF procedure have experienced brief hospital stays and a rapid return to work.

*The OptiLIF SCOUT FDA IDE Clinical Trial and two independent studies each conducted by a different surgeon have demonstrated the average hospital length of stay for patients is less than 2 days: 

  • SCOUT, 102 patients - 1.8 days1
  • Dr. Michael Wang, independent study, 100 patients - 1.4 days2
  • Dr. Jian Shen, independent study, 18 patients - 1.2 days3


Patient Example

The example below includes images of an actual patient’s spine before and after an OptiLIF procedure. This patient was a 44-year-old female who was diagnosed with Grade I lytic spondylolisthesis. She had not previously had spine surgery. Prior to the surgery, she had been experiencing leg pain for over one year. She could not sit without pain for more than an hour, and she could not walk more than a quarter mile. Pain prevented her from sleeping more than four hours per night.

Six weeks after surgery, she had very little leg pain and stopped taking any pain medications. Two years after surgery, she reported being able to sit and walk as long as desired and has no pain during sleep. She has maintained this improvement for more than three years since her surgery.*

*Individual results may vary.

Is an OptiLIF procedure right for me?

If you require surgery, your surgeon may determine that an OptiLIF procedure is a good option for you. Conditions that can be treated with the OptiLIF procedure include:

  • Single-level degenerative disc disease confirmed by patient history, physical exam, and imaging
  • Spondylolisthesis – Grade I (one vertebra has slipped forward over another)

Having surgery is an important decision, so speak with your surgeon about the best treatment option for your specific condition.

Click here to view the brochure:  


1 Lavoie S, et al. Does Indirect Decompression versus Open Decompression in Percutaneous Interbody Fusion Provide Better Results?  An Ad Hoc Analysis of a Prospective Multi-Center Percutaneous Interbody Fusion Study.  International Society for the Advancement of Spine Surgery (ISASS) 2021. Miami, FL. 2021 May 13-15.

2 Kolcun et al.  Endoscopic Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion without General Anesthesia. Operative and Clinical Outcomes in 100 Consecutive Patients with a Minimum 1-year Follow-up. Neurosurg Focus. 2019 Apr; 46(4): 1-5. 

3 Shen J. Fully endoscopic lumbar laminectomy and transforaminal lumbar interbdoy fusion under local anesthesia with conscious sedation: A case series.  World Neurosurg. 2019 Jul; 127: e745-e750.

4 Research review of 16 references:

  • Cummock MD, Vanni S, Levi AD, Yu Y, and Wang, MY.  An analysis of postoperative thigh symptoms after minimally invasive transpsoas lumbar interbody fusion.  J Neurosurg Spine.  2011 Jul 15; 11(1).
  • Campbell PG, Nunley PD, et al.  Short term outcomes of lateral lumbar interbody fusion without decompression for the treatment of symptomatic degenerative spondylolisthesis at L4 5. Neurosurg Focus.  2018 Jan; 44 (1): 1-6.
  • Youssef JA, et al.  Minimally Invasive Surgery: Lateral Approach Interbody Fusion. Spine.  2010 Dec 15; 35(26S): S302-S311.
  • Ozgur BM, et al.  Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF): a novel surgical technique for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. The Spine Journal. 2006 Jul 1; 6(4): 435-443.
  • Knight RQ, et al.  Direct Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion for Degenerative Conditions Early Complication Profile. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2009 Feb; 22(1): 34-37.
  • Du JY et al.  Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Unilateral Pedicle Screw Fixation for the Treatment of Adjacent Segment Disease: A Preliminary Report. Journal of Spine Surgery.  2017 Sep; 3(3): 330-337.
  • Grim BD, Leas DP, Poletti SC, Johnson DR.  Postoperative Complications within the First Year After Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion: Experience of the First 108 Patients. Clin Spine Surg.  2016 Apr; 29(3): E151-E156.
  • Kepler CK, Sharma AK, Huang RC.  Lateral Transpsoas Interbody Fusion (LTIF) With Plate Fixation and Unilateral Pedicle Screws: A Preliminary Report.  J of Spinal Disord & Tech. 2011 Aug; 24(6): 363-367.
  • Lee YS, Kim YB, Park SW, Chung C.  Comparison of Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Direct Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Clinical and Radiological Results. J Korean Neurosurg Soc.  2014 Dec; 56(6): 469-474.
  • Marchi et al.  Radiographic and Clinical Evaluation of Cage Subsidence after Standalone Lateral Interbody Fusion. J Neurosurgery Spine.  2013 Jul; 19: 1-39.
  • Na YC et al. Initial Clinical Outcomes of Minimally Invasive Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion in Degenerative Lumbar Disease: A Preliminary Report on the Experience of a Single Institution with 30 Cases. Korean J Spine.  2012 Sept 30; 9(3): 187 192.
  • Nunley P, Sandhu F, Frank K, Stone M.  Neurological Complications after Lateral Transpsoas Approach to Anterior Interbody Fusion with a Novel Flat Blade Spine Fixed Retractor.  Biomed Research International.  2016 May 12; 2016: 8450712.
  • Massel, DH, Mayo BC, Long WW, et al. Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Comparison of Grade I versus grade II isthmic spondylolisthesis. Int J Spine Surg. 2020 Apr; 14(2): 108-114.
  • Gala RJ, Bovonratwet P, Webb ML, et al. Different fusion approaches for single-level lumbar spondylolysis have similar perioperative outcomes. Spine. 2018 Jan 15; 43(2): E111-117.
  • Tye EY, Tanenbaum JE, Alonso AS, et al. Circumferential fusion: a comparative analysis between anterior lumbar interbody fusion with posterior pedicle screw fixation and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion for L5-S1 isthmic spondylolisthesis. Spine J. 2018 Mar 1; 18(3): 464-471.
  • Jazini E, Gum JL, Glassman SD, et al. Cost-effectiveness of circumferential fusion for lumbar spondylolisthesis: propensity-matched comparison of transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion with anterior-posterior fusion. Spine J. 2018 Nov 1; 18(11): 1969-1973.