Spine Fusions are performed to correct problems with vertebrae in the spine, such as degenerative disc disease, spine instability, and fractures.
An interbody fusion involves removing a degenerated or herniated disc, and replacing it with a metal or plastic artificial disc or a bone graft. The process “tricks” the body into thinking it has a fracture, by joining bone with bone graft, in order to spur bone growth.
Though there are many different methods to perform fusions, an anterior lumbar interbody fusion is performed from the front, in an incision near the belly button.
The goal of an ALIF is to remove pressure off spinal nerves and increase stability. The procedure is most used when multiple degenerative or herniated discs must be removed or fused together. After an ALIF, you’ll experience increased spine stability and reduced pain.
Typically 1-3 nights in the hospital.
While not technically minimally invasive, care will be made to keep incisions and tissue disruption to a minimum.
This procedure will cause minimal blood loss with limited tissue disruption.
Patients are usually up and walking hours after surgery. Often back to work approximately 4 weeks after surgery. No heavy lifting, twisting or bending for 3 months.
The procedure is approximately 45 minutes per level.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.