Procedures

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

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.

Where an ALIF is Performed

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.

Why an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion?

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.

How an ALIF is Performed

  1. Dr. Valente and his vascular surgeon operate together to access the spine.
  2. To take the pressure off the pinched nerves, the degenerated or herniated disc is then removed.
  3. A bone graft spacer block is then inserted in the disc space.
  4. The two vertebrae will grow into the bone graft to create a solid fusion of the two bones.
  5. A small titanium plate and screws are often used to hold the bone graft in place.
  6. The patient will experience increased spine stability and reduced pain at that segment.
Hospital Stay

Hospital Stay

Overnight

Typically 1-3 nights in the hospital.

Surgery Type

Surgery Type

Traditional

While not technically minimally invasive, care will be made to keep incisions and tissue disruption to a minimum.

Blood Loss

Blood Loss

Minimal

This procedure will cause minimal blood loss with limited tissue disruption.

Recovery Time

Recovery Time

Hours to weeks

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.

Surgery Time

Surgery Time

Minutes

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.

Back Stories

How to Protect Your Lower Back from Pain While Lifting Something Heavy
How to Protect Your Lower Back from Pain While Lifting Something Heavy
Acute back pain can be caused by a multitude of things, from auto accidents to falls to even sneezin...
Read Article
Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease May Cause Headaches
Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease May Cause Headaches
When your head is pounding, you may cycle through a litany of potential causes, from allergies to la...
Read Article
Can Back Pain Go Away Overnight?
Can Back Pain Go Away Overnight?
Trying to sleep with back pain is no fun. If your pain is so extreme that you need immediate care du...
Read Article
Don’t Suffer with Lower Back Pain from Driving
Don’t Suffer with Lower Back Pain from Driving
Is driving causing back pain? This is a common complaint, especially for those who have a long commu...
Read Article
The Five Most Common Herniated Disc Symptoms
The Five Most Common Herniated Disc Symptoms
Wake up with a pain pulsating down one leg? Feel a twinge in your lower back when you sneeze? It cou...
Read Article
8 Back Health Tips for Working from Home
8 Back Health Tips for Working from Home
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, have you recently found yourself working from home? Many of us sudd...
Read Article
  • Living Best Of
  • Dallas Modern Luxury
  • D Magazine
  • Good Morning Texas
  • Focus On Health
  • Best Docs Network
  • MD News