Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
ALIF is an operational intervention to correct spinal pathology. In essence, the main idea of such intervention is to fasten the bodies of painful bodies in the spine together so that with the course of healing they grow as a single piece. Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion is a treatment used in cases where movement causes pain. If a damaged vertebra is immobilized, the aching will stop.
ALIF implies the removal of the disk. The procedure can be executed through various accesses. For instance, it can be through a cut in the lower spine or on the sides. But in the case of Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, the specialist accesses the needed area through the anterior abdominal wall.
The indications for Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion are as follows:
- Degenerative malfunctions of the disks;
- Small disk space;
- Spinal stenosis;
- Lumbar spine pain;
- Vertebral body tumor;
- Anomalities due to deformation.
How is an ALIF Performed?
ALIF usually lasts for two or three hours. Firstly, the doctor will get rid of the disk. After total removal of the disk, a bone, metal or plastic spacer is implanted in its place between two vertebrae. This spacer normally includes a bone piece that accelerates healing and reparative processes. After the spacer is put into the intervertebral area, the doctor can enhance the stability of the cord by using a plate or screws to secure the spacer as required. Depending on the case, this is can be done via the same opening or the doctor will have to set up extra screws making another cut. Before starting the Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, the doctor will discuss with you the most suitable option for your case.
Are there any Potential risks or Complications?
When using the ALIF technique, it is possible to bypass the nerve bundles, which eliminates the likelihood of their damage and the development of corresponding complications. But it suggests the need to move blood vessels, which can trigger the bleeding to open.
What to Expect after the Procedure
With the implementations of all the recommendations received, patients return to a full life and do not suffer from limited mobility after ALIF. Minor difficulties can arise only when severe spinal motion segments join during bending.
For many years our spinal surgeons have been helping to relieve pain and achieve high quality of life. They regularly master new methods of conservative and operational treatment, which will allow them to combine experience and modern approaches to medical care.