Information for the public
What has NICE said?
Lateral interbody fusion in the lumbar spine for low back pain works well enough for use in the NHS. The evidence about how safe it is shows that there are serious but well-recognised complications.
What does this mean for me?
Your health professional should fully explain what is involved in having this procedure, and discuss the possible benefits and risks with you. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. All of this should happen before you decide whether you want to have this procedure or not.
NICE is asking health professionals to send information about everyone who has the procedure and what happens to them afterwards to a database at the British Spine Registry.
Other comments from NICE
NICE said that there are several different ways to do this procedure, which all have different risks, including the possibility of damage to major blood vessels. Nerve monitoring is being used more often to reduce the risk of nerve damage. The procedure may be used for other conditions, for example, back pain with sciatica.
Your healthcare team
This procedure should only be done by surgeons with training in lateral interbody fusion in the lumbar spine for low back pain. At first, they should do it with another experienced surgeon.