In a 1997 paper published in The Spine Journal, Mayer first described a retroperitoneal ante-psoas approach (L2- L5) performed with the patient in a right lateral position.1 In 2012, Silvestre et al. described a similar approach based on their experience on 179 patients between 2006 and 2009, coining the term “oblique lateral interbody fusion (OLIF).”2
At the time of the paper’s publication, the spine surgical community was rapidly embracing other minimally invasive techniques such as MIS TLIF and LLIF, while moving away from the other traditional approaches. Dr. Richard Hynes developed the idea to apply the tube-based retractor concept from TLIF to Mayer’s retroperitoneal ante-psoas technique. He led the charge to finesse the procedure to what ultimately became OLIF25.
Dr. Hynes developed the concept of using the oblique corridor to access the L5-S1 disc, so that an ante-psoas approach to L2-S1 may be performed while keeping the patient in the same lateral decubitus position for efficiency. The result is OLIF51, in essence an MIS ALIF approach to L5-S1 performed in lateral decubitus position when L5-S1 needs to be accessed in addition to L2-5.
Mayer, M. H. (1997). A New Microsurgical Technique for Minimally Invasive Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Spine, 22(6), 691–699.
Silvestre, C., Mac-Thiong, J.-M., Hilmi, R., & Roussouly, P. (2012). Complications and Morbidities of Mini-open Anterior Retroperitoneal Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion in 179 Patients. Asian Spine Journal, 6(2), 89.