Laparoscopic Spinal Fusion

Laparoscopic Spinal Fusion is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed through the abdomen using several small incisions. This video gives a clear picture of Laparoscopic Spinal Fusion. Click Here To Watch Video

Incisions for Laparoscopic ALIFSpinal Fusion is the operation performed for the surgical treatment of low back pain that is unresponsive to conservative care. Traditional Spinal Fusion is done through the back with metal screws and rods or through the abdomen using a large incision. While both approaches have met with reasonable success, many patients are left with back pain and fatigue due to muscle scaring from the operation. The Laparoscopic approach is an alternative procedure done through the abdomen using several small incisions each less than 1" in length.


Laparoscopic TeamThe procedure is performed by a team that includes both a spine surgeon and a general or vascular surgeon. The spine is approached using special instruments and scopes allowing for the placement of a fusion implant. This allows for bone to grow through the implant fusing the vertebral bodies and relieving the patient's back pain. There are significant benefits to this approach including less operative pain, a shorter hospital stay (usually one night), and faster recuperative time. Return to work is possible within weeks, rather than months, depending on the requirements of the job.


Laparoscopic camera and portsDr. Kleeman performed the first Laparoscopic Spinal Fusion in New England in 1997. Since then he has performed over 650 laparoscopic fusions. He is recognized nationally as a leader in the field of laparoscopic spine surgery and has served as an instructor at teaching institutions from coast to coast. He has presented his outcome data at the prestigious North American Spine Society with results that were amongst the best ever reported for spinal fusions of any type. Dr.Kleeman was chosen from select group of nationally ranked spine surgeons to participate in a FDA-sponsored study where a bone graft substitute was used with a titanium cage implanted through the laparoscopic approach. Dr. Kleeman had the single largest patient group in the study and has published his findings in the journal Spine. He is in the process of publishing a 10 year history of his experience with laparoscopic fusion including 644 patients, the largest laparoscopic study by a single surgeon ever published. Present research is underway to add radiographic navigation to the procedure.