Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) is a surgery during which all or part of a herniated disc is removed from between vertebrae in the lumbar region of the spine. Anterior means the spine is approached from the front of the body. Once the disc is removed, the vertebrae are then fused together to stabilize the spine.
Patients with degenerative disc disease, spondylolysis or spondylolisthesis, or scoliosis may be recommended for surgery if nonsurgical options have failed to produce results. Generally, an ALIF is preformed to treat:
- Protruding or degenerated discs
- Spinal instability
During your procedure, you will be placed under general anesthesia. Your surgeon will then make an incision in the abdomen and gain clear access to your spine and the affected vertebrae. Once access is gained, the affected discs will be removed and a graft with a plate and screws will be placed to stabilize disc space.
While recovery times will vary, you can expect to stay in the hospital for 1-2 nights. You’ll be given pain medications and may be advised to wear a brace.