Anterior Lumbar interbody Spine Fusion Surgery

Anterior lumbar interbody spine fusion/ ALIF surgery is the surgery to treat disc problems in the lower back. Traditionally lumbar spine fusion surgeries done through incision in the back. But with latest advancement fusion surgeries can be done through the sides (Lateral Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) or through the front (ALIF) side. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion means the replacement of the intervertebral disc with a bone or metal spacer using an anterior approach.

Conditions treated with Anterior Lumbar Interbody Spine Fusion Surgery

Anterior interbody spine surgery is helpful to treat various conditions which may involve-

Advantages of Anterior Lumbar Interbody Spine Fusion Surgery

The advantages of ALIF are

The procedure of the Anterior Lumbar Interbody Spine Fusion surgery

The procedure is usually done by a spine surgeon and an access surgeon who exposes the spine and hands over to the spine surgeon. A 2–3-inch incision is made with the X-ray fluoroscope on the front side of the belly. The location of the damaged disc is analyzed. After locating the damaged disc, the access surgeon exposes the involved level of the spine by carefully dissecting bowels away from the operative field. Then, the spine surgeon removes the disc and inserts a metal or PEEK cage with the bone graft into the disc space. The cage is fixed to the bone by inserting one screw each in the upper and lower vertebral bone. The abdominal incisions are then closed and muscles are sutured. Depending on the patient’s weight and problems, they may need additional percutaneous posterior fusion.
Post operatively the pain discomfort in the abdomen is treated with appropriate medicines. The patients are usually discharged 2-4 days after the procedure. Physical therapy is advised after 1-2 weeks from the surgery. An Xray has to be done after 3-6 months to assess the fusion.

Risks associated with the Anterior spine fusion surgery

Some risks and complications associated with the Anterior Lumbar Interbody Spine Fusion surgery may include-

If you have been suffering from a degenerative spine disease, and your spine surgeon has advised you to undergo an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Spine Fusion Surgery, then get a second opinion from another neurosurgeon and be informed about all the possible treatment options and risks associated with those.

Dr. Arun Rajeswaran

Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery

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