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Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

The goal of an anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is to increase spinal stability and decrease pain by removing pressure from spinal nerves, and to stabilize spinal weaknesses resulting from degenerative discs, spondylolisthesis, or other spine-weakening conditions.

Benefits of ALIF

An ALIF is intended to result in a significant reduction–or complete elimination–of pain, and in renewed back stability, which helps ensure pain does not return. Studies have shown that ALIF is highly successful in over 90 percent of cases. Many patients are able to return to normal activities with no, or greatly reduced, pain.

Compared to traditional, “open” surgeries, which require long incisions, the minimally invasive approach used by North American Spine physicians results in less surgical trauma, less bone and tissue damage, and results in fewer complications and a reduced recovery period. Note: we do see patients whose previous spine surgeries are no longer providing them the relief they need.

To determine if you are a candidate for ALIF, contact one of our Patient Care Managers at 877.474.2225. If you have already seen a physician, send us a copy of your recent MRI or CT for review using the form on this page.

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Details of the ALIF

The ALIF procedure begins with an incision made over the lower abdomen, which provides the advantage of accessing the afflicted disc without disturbing the nerves. The disc material between two adjacent vertebrae in the lower back are removed, then fused, using bone graft or bone graft substitute.

The graft adds stability and causes the body to grow more bone around the implant, adding further stability. If necessary, the surgeon will place bone grafts across the backs of the affected vertebrae and secure them with specialized hardware.

Preparing for the ALIF

Before pursuing an ALIF, prospective patients should have tried conservative methods, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and spinal injections. If those methods have not produced meaningful relief, you may be a candidate for a North American Spine procedure.

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ALIF Recovery

ALIF is an inpatient procedure, meaning patients will stay 1-3 nights in the surgery center. Recovery, however, is quite rapid in comparison to traditional open back surgery. Patients will be walking the same day of surgery and performing light activity within a few weeks. More in-depth, customized recovery guidelines will be provided by your North American Spine physician. The vast majority of patients report a significant and lasting reduction of their pre-op symptoms.

While every surgery carries some risk of injury or infection, complications are rare. Your physician will counsel you on these risks prior to the procedure.

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Sara H.

Condition: Spondylosis

Procedure: ALIF

“Previous procedures brought me back!”

"After five weeks out, Mobility is getting better every day. I'm looking forward to my strength and exercise training!"

Connect With A Patient

Some of our former patients have been kind enough to offer to speak with back and neck pain sufferers who are looking into treatment options. We encourage you to take them up on it! After we determine a treatment plan, we’ll connect you with a past patient who had a similar condition and procedure.

Connect with a Patient

We love your questions!

Our friendly Patient Care Managers are standing by and ready to help. Call us at 877.474.2225 or complete the form below, and we'll be in touch shortly.