Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) Surgery in Morris County, NJ
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) surgery helps surgeons join or "weld" two small bones of the spine (vertebrae) to each other. The surgery is used to treat back pain and is one of several types of spinal fusion surgeries.
ALIF surgery—as opposed to XLIF—allows surgeons to treat the spine from the front of the body (through the abdomen). The anterior approach allows access to the spine without the risk of injury to spinal nerves, and it is especially fitting when several bones need to be fused or multiple discs need to be removed.
To learn more about anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) surgery, call (908) 822-9282 or contact Dr. Kevin McCracken online.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Surgery
During an ALIF, you will be put to sleep with general anesthesia and placed on your back. The surgeon will make a 3-to-8 centimeter-long incision in your abdomen just to the left of your belly button. Your intestines and other blood vessels will be moved to the side so the surgeon can see the spine.
He or she will then remove the disc between the vertebrae to be joined, and a spacer made of metal or bone will be added.
Your doctor may do other procedures along with an ALIF, and he or she may also place rods, pins or screws into the vertebrae as needed.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Recovery
After ALIF surgery, you can expect to stay in the hospital for three to seven days. While you are in the hospital, physical and occupational therapists will work with you. They will teach you how to:
- Get in and out of bed.
- Walk independently.
- Perform other daily tasks without injury.
You will need to pay attention to how you move and what you do after you leave the hospital to prevent a new injury to your back. This means:
- No bending at the waist for two to four weeks.
- No lifting of anything heavier than 5 pounds.
- No twisting.
After four to six weeks, you can slowly begin to bend and twist as your body heals and your muscles regain their strength. You should be able to drive and return to work after two to three weeks.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Results
According to the USC Center for Spinal Surgery, 87% to 97% of patients who have an ALIF procedure have excellent outcomes. Most reported significant improvement in their back pain and were able to return to their normal activities.
Request More Information
To request more information about Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) Surgery, please call (908) 822-9282 or contact Dr. Kevin McCracken online.
Orthopaedic and Spine Center of NJ
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Warren, NJ 07059
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