ANTERIOR LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION (ALIF)
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a minimally invasive surgery that approaches the spine from the anterior (front) of the body, in order to remove all or part of a herniated disc from the lumbar portion of the spine, then fusing the vertebrae together to give the spine stability.
We use this type of spinal procedure at Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care to alleviate symptoms in patients suffering from herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, spondylolisthesis, or instability of the spine.
IS ALIF RIGHT FOR ME?
If you are experiencing lower back or leg pain, scoliosis, or other spinal instability, you might consider the anterior lumbar interbody fusion procedure, if you have not found relief with non-surgical treatments.
We do not recommend this procedure for patients with bones that have become soft due to osteoporosis, or in patients with arthritis or excessive spinal instability.
During the procedure the patient is put under general anesthesia, and the surgeon makes a tiny incision in the patient’s abdomen, and inserts an endoscope to view the surgical area. Minimally invasive surgical tools are advanced through a tube to remove all or part of the damaged vertebral discs. Bone graft material is inserted into the disc space between the vertebral bodies, allowing for the spine to fuse.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR ALIF?
The ALIF procedure is not usually recommended for patients suffering from osteoporosis or excessive spinal instability.
If you have not found relief through non-surgical, more conservative treatment plans, you may want to talk with their doctor or make an appointment with Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care to talk about ALIF. All surgeries come with risk, so it’s a good idea to discuss options with someone you trust.
An endoscopic, minimally-invasive procedure like ALIF means quicker recovery and faster relief from painful symptoms. Many of our ALIF procedures at Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care are outpatient, allowing for many patients to go home the same day. Patients will be required to undergo physical therapy and may require a pain medication prescription to help with any initial discomfort. It takes several months for the bone grafts to completely fuse with the rest of the patient’s spine.
If you have questions about ALIF or have symptoms that you would like to address, make an appointment for a consultation with Comprehensive Orthopedic and Spine Care today. Dr. Joseph Weinstein and the team look forward to helping you!