How is Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) Performed?
Dr. Braxton performs the anterior lumbar interbody fusion with the patient under general anesthesia. The surgery takes between 2 and 3 hours. The surgical incision is made on the front of the body. The length of the incision is dependent on the number of spinal levels being repaired and if the procedure is open or minimally invasive. Following access to the affected spinal area, the intervertebral discectomy is performed which involves removing the disc and opening up of any degenerative materials.
Once readied, an implant device will be placed in the disc space between adjacent vertebrae. The selected bone graft material will be packed into the disc space around the implant device creating a cage of solid bone to help promote healing and the fusion process. Resulting post-surgical stability may also be enhanced by the addition of instrumentation, or plates and screws, to further secure the bony cage in place during the healing. The surgery is completed and the patient begins post-operative recovery.