Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a procedure that is used to treat low back and leg pain from pinched or irritated spinal nerves. Many disorders in the lumbar spine such as degenerative disc disease, lumbar stenosis, sciatica, and spondylolisthesis can cause severe pain. When non-surgical treatments fail to treat these conditions, ALIF may be the right procedure for you.

A small incision is made in the lower abdomen (anterior). The lower segment(s) of the spine (lumbar) are carefully exposed. The diseased disc between the spinal bones are removed and replaced with an implant filled with bone graft (interbody) to stabilize and fuse the spine (fusion).

ALIF is one of a number of ways to treat the lumbar spine. Please ask Dr. Cho whether ALIF is the right procedure for you.

Case Presentation

This 33-year-old person suffered from severe back and leg pain for over a year. Pain was such that he had difficulty with basic activities of daily living and could no longer work. The patient underwent several months of non-operative treatments that failed to give him long-lasting relief. MRI and discogram showed that his bottom disc had degenerated and was irritating the nearby spinal nerves (red arrow). He had seen multiple surgeons and finally came to Dr. Cho for a second opinion. The patient successfully underwent ALIF by Dr. Cho and went home after a short hospital stay. He is now back to work and enjoying life with his family.

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