Lumbar Instability

Lumbar instability refers to an unnatural and exaggerated movement of the vertebrae in the lower back. This may be due to degeneration of the intervertebral discs, which are flexible pads of cartilage between the vertebra; spondylolisthesis – which is a misalignment of the vertebrae; or due to a previous surgical procedure. The movement of the vertebrae puts pressure on the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing pain in the lower back.

Diagnosis of lumbar instability is done by physical examination and through imaging studies. Surgical stabilization is usually recommended, with different procedures done depending on the severity of the condition.

The following are surgical procedures done to treat lumbar instability:

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

Extreme Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF)


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