Local Surgeon Performs Miminally-Invasive Technique To Relieve Back and Leg Pain

Dr. Matthew D. Hannibal

Matthew Hannibal, MD, medical director of Caldwell Memorial Spine Center is performing a minimally-invasive surgical technique at CMH to provide relief to those suffering from back and/or leg pain. The minimally disruptive procedure, called eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®), differs from traditional spinal surgery by employing a lateral approach (entering from the side of the body), which eliminates the disruption of muscles, bones, and ligaments that result from the traditional posterior (back) approach and dramatically reduces hospital and recovery times.

An estimated 10 million adults suffer from chronic back and/or leg pain annually, a condition that can limit their activities. Until recently, adults with back and/or leg pain have undergone traditional or "open" spine surgery, requiring weeks or months of recovery.

"XLIF surgical offers a safe, effective, and less invasive alternative to traditional or open spine surgery," explained Dr. Hannibal. "This approach provides greater access to the spine, offers better visualization during surgery, results in less tissue disruption and blood loss, and yields faster patient recovery times. Another benefit is that patients are often walking within a few days, with a typical four-to-six week recovery, rather than the six or more months of recovery following traditional back surgery. And the best part is that they are no longer suffering from back and/or leg pain. XLIF is a win-win approach for all - the patient, surgeon and hospital."

The XLIF surgical procedure, developed by NuVasive®, Inc of San Diego, CA, employs NuVasive's minimally disruptive instrumentation and proprietary surgical technologies. MaXcess®, NuVasive's unique spit-blade retractor system provides the surgeon the necessary surgical access with minimal disruption of surrounding tissue, while NuVasive's proprietary, software-driven nerve avoidance system, NeuroVision®, enables the surgeon to avoid nerves during spine surgery. Both technologies are critical in allowing lateral access to the spine.

Dr. Hannibal is medical director of Caldwell Memorial Spine Center and a member of the Active Medical Staff of Caldwell Memorial Hospital.