AdobeStock 112903557PLIF is generally used to treat back or leg pain caused by degenerative disc disease.

The surgeon will stabilize the spine by fusing vertebrae together with bone graft material.

The procedure is performed through a three to six inch incision in the back. The damaged disc is partially removed.  Bone graft will be placed in the empty disc space, realigning the vertebral bones.  This also lifts pressure from the pinched nerve roots.  Then they implant a series of screws and rods to the back of the spine for additional support.  The bone graft will grow through and around the implants, forming a bone bridge that connects the vertebral bodies above and below, which is called a fusion.  The incision(s) are closed with sutures or surgical staples.