AxiaLIF (Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion) - a new, revolutionary less invasive approach to traditional spinal fusion surgery.
If you have lower back pain, you are not alone. Every year, 40 to 60 percent of American adults suffer from chronic back pain. Nearly everyone at some point has back pain that interferes with work, routine daily activities, or recreation. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on low back pain, the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work. Back pain is the second most common orthopedic ailment in the United States. Most occurrences of low back pain go away within a few days. Others take much longer to resolve and can lead to more serious conditions, possibly requiring surgery. More than one million spine surgery procedures are performed annually in the United States.

There are many surgical techniques available to treat spinal conditions such as degenerative disc disease, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis, or spinal fracture. One of the more common surgical treatments offered to patients is lumbar spinal fusion. A new minimally invasive approach to spinal fusion called AxiaLIF enables surgeons to perform lumbar fusion surgery without the major dissections of the surrounding spinal soft tissue. In a short period of time, AxiaLIF has demonstrated a change in the way spinal fusion surgeries are performed while revolutionizing patient care by dramatically reducing recovery time.

AxiaLIF is short for Axial Lumbar Interbody Fusion. "Axial" means that the procedure is performed along an axis perpendicular to the disc through which a lumbar interbody spinal fusion is performed (causing two vertebral bodies to grow together) from an anterior approach. The AxiaLIF system employs a novel approach to accessing the lowest level of the lumbar spine through a percutaneous opening via the sacral bone. The technique is performed through a 2 cm skin incision, through which specially designed instrumentation is inserted to conduct the procedure. Operative time is under an hour, compared to nearly 3 hours with conventional fusion surgery. Reduced surgical trauma, less blood loss and shorter operative time means that the patient will experience faster recovery.

This procedure allows patients to be discharged from the hospital the day after surgery, and on average return to work in 15 days. This is a dramatic reduction in hospital lengths of stay, which can otherwise run three to four nights, followed by a one- to two-month recovery period before returning to work. Occasionally, AxiaLIF can be performed on an out-patient basis, with patients able to safely and comfortably return home the same day as their fusion surgery. The AxiaLIF procedure is estimated to be less costly than open surgeries. The main savings are in the dramatic decrease in operating room time, length of stay, less need for post surgical pain medication and more rapid rehabilitation. Over 1,600 AxiaLIF procedures have been performed in hospitals across the United States.

Stephen R. Goll, M.D., a native of Philadelphia, PA, joined Orlando Orthopaedic Center in 1991 after four years as an U.S. Air Force orthopaedic surgeon. He attended Cornell University where he received his B.S. degree in Biology. Dr. Goll earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. He completed both his surgical internship and orthopaedic surgery residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Following his residency, Dr. Goll completed a fellowship in spinal surgery at both Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Goll is board certified as a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and the American Board of Spinal Surgery. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society. He is a member of the American Medical Association, the Florida Medical Association and the Orange County Medical Society, and has served as the Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at both Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Goll specializes in Adult Spinal Reconstruction, Cervical and Lumbar Spine Surgery at Orlando Orthopaedic Center, a group of 15 fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons and physicians with 5 locations throughout central Florida. Orlando Orthopaedic Center treats patients for a multitude of orthopaedic conditions and injuries including joint replacement, spine, hand and wrist, podiatric foot and orthopaedic oncology.

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September 2008