Spinal Fusions: Anterior vs. Posterior

View the different approaches to assist with identification of appropriate procedure codes.

Two different approaches can be taken for spinal fusions; it is important to use the appropriate code for the approach provided.

Anterior Approach

The anterior approach is taken while a patient is lying in supine position; the surgeon approaches their spinal column from the front by making an incision to their abdomen

Techniques include:

  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion
  • Anterolateral technique
  • Retroperitoneal technique
  • Direct lateral interbody fusion
  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion

Posterior Approach

The posterior approach is taken while a patient is lying in prone position; the surgeon approaches their spinal column from the back by making an incision to their back. This technique is generally preferred when one or two spinal levels are being fused in conjunction with a posterior decompression and instrumentation. .

Techniques include:

  • Posterior interbody fusion
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion
  • Axial lumbar interbody fusion
  • Posterolateral technique
  • Transverse process technique

Tip for Successful of Spinal Fusion Billing

  • Bill for the correct approach based on the documentation provided.
  • Ensure the operative report clearly supports the procedure performed and provides the patient's position during the procedure.

Last Updated May 18, 2015