An article in The Mail on Sunday written by Carol Davis stated that there is a pioneering surgery to fix worn out spinal discs which is being carried out by British doctors who get to the vertebrae through an incision in the patient’s side.
Surgery is usually carried out through the abdomen or from the back of the body but this runs risks of damaging major blood vessels, or organs such as the bowel, and the spinal nerves.
With the new procedure known as Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF ) it is carried out with specialised instruments inserted through the flank areas. It even has a probe which is placed into a back muscle which can send warning signals to a monitor if a surgical instrument gets too close to vital organs or arteries.
Although there is still a risk of injury, experts hope this will be lower than with other spinal surgery techniques. The new procedure will give hope to thousands of sufferers. Patient, Linda Black, 65, from Shrewsbury is now pain free after having surgery to remove a worn out disc.
After having the XLIF procedure she was out of hospital in just over 24 hours and the pain relief was instant.