The ALIF Experts

An anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) increases spinal stability and decrease pain by removing pressure from spinal nerves, and to stabilize spinal weaknesses resulting from degenerative discsspondylolisthesis, or other spine-weakening conditions.

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What is an ALIF?

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (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.

ALIF Procedure Essentials

Patient Satisfaction. Very High
Does It Require an Overnight Stay? Sometimes. It depends on a few factors
Incision Size. Less than an inch
Recovery Details. Walking the day of the surgery, back to work or play in a couple weeks to a couple months

Physicians Who Perform ALIF

North American Spine partner physicians are board-certified, minimally invasive specialists in ALIF and other related procedures. They are among the best in the field, and many have served as teachers of the next generation of minimally invasive specialists.


Unlike at most practices, North American Spine partner physicians may collaborate on a complex procedure to ensure that all the required skill and knowledge is brought to the case. But perhaps the most telling fact of all is this: 97% of patients say they would recommend their doctor to a friend.



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Answering a few questions will kickstart the process. Let's get you free of pain.

Benefits of the 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.

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.

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.