Re: xlif for L4-L5 plif for L5-S1
KG 5634 ~
You had ALIF/PLIF surgery. These are just shorthand for the names of the type of fusion surgeries and describe the entry into the body.
PLIF stand for posterior lumbar interbody fusion...etc.
ALIF/PLIF is also sometimes called a "360" fusion because it approaches the spine from both the front and the back side...and, as you mention, it is the most reliable way to insure that a complete fusion is accomplished.
The L4-5 segment is often done this way because it is the level of the spine that takes the most of the body's flexion and extension.
TLiFis a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion also has the incision in the back but it removes the facet joints on one side rather than taking off the lamina as in PLIF. This way the surgeon can fuse from the anterior and posterior sides with one incision.