Before Surgery

You Are Still Having Surgery

Even though its minimally invasive 

Although our OLLIF is minimally invasive and the recovery is usually much quicker than with open surgery, it is still a spine fusion, which is a major procedure. You will have pain afterward and feel as if you had a serious surgery because you did! Minimally invasive surgery means that your recovery will be much smoother than the open surgery alternative. It does not mean that you will be pain-free directly after surgery, or in the weeks to follow. Everyday activities should be okay to do sooner than with a traditional open back surgery.

"Everyday activities" means things like walking around, using a computer, sitting in a chair and lying down. It DOES NOT mean that you will be back to your old lifestyle right away. You cannot do excessive activities like lift weights, climb ladders, ride motorcycles, rock climb, ski or snowboard until your spine is fully fused. The fusion will likely not be solid until at least 6 months post op and, in many cases, 1 year. Healing and fusion progress will be delayed if you use any form of nicotine or have other medical conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis.  

What to Expect

Unexpected Nature of Surgery Scheduling:

We are one of the only clinics offering OLLIF in the country; it may take several months to get you scheduled. There are several reasons your surgery may be canceled or rescheduled: abnormalities during your preop physical, need for cardiac clearance, and hospital bed space are some of those reasons. The prior authorization process is lengthy and may require extensive medical record history. Your patience is much appreciated.


If your payer denies your procedure, we will continue to appeal on your behalf, but payers may take up to 90 business days to process appeals.

Pain Management Before Surgery:

Although we rarely prescribe medication prior to surgery, we do offer some pain management solutions, and have a PM&R on site that is available for appointments. If you would like to know your options for pain control while awaiting your surgery or would like a referral to a pain management specialist, please discuss with your provider.

To help expedite the authorization process, we ask that patients assist in the retrieval of their medical records from their physical therapist, chiropractor, primary care provider and any other institutions that have provided them care along their spine journey.