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ALIF Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) is a common surgical solution for degenerative disc disease and other conditions that affect the discs in your lower back. ALIF is a spinal fusion procedure where surgeons access the front of the spine through the abdomen to fuse two or more vertebrae in the lower back together. The procedure involves collaboration between an “approach” surgeon (who provides access to the spine) and a spine surgeon who conducts the actual fusion procedure.

ALIF treats conditions that occur when damaged or worn-out intervertebral discs put pressure on your spinal nerves . The procedure is performed from the anterior (front) side of the patient.

The Anterior Approach

The primary benefit of using the ALIF approach is the direct access to the front of the spinal column . This approach allows for a more direct and thorough access to the damaged disc, while minimizing disruption to the back muscles and nerves.

Benefits of the Anterior Approach

  • Undisturbed Back Muscles and Nerves: The anterior approach does not disturb posterior (back) muscles and nerves . This is a significant advantage over other fusion approaches, which may involve cutting through muscles and nerves.
  • Enhanced Stability: A large spacer (spinal implant) may be used for enhanced stability of the fusion construct . This provides additional support and stability to the spine, promoting better healing and recovery.
  • Minimally Invasive: ALIF may be performed as a mini-open procedure. This minimally invasive spine surgery preserves the abdominal muscles by separating muscle fibers instead of cutting them.
  • No Removal of Spinal Bone: ALIF does not require removing spinal bone to access the disc or vertebra . This reduces the risk of complications and promotes faster recovery.

Dr. Goldstein is a leading expert in the use of the ALIF spinal procedure and possesses extensive experience in treating lumbar disorders using ALIF and other state-of-art surgical techniques. His expertise in minimally invasive spine surgery has been a key factor in his repeated recognition as one of New York's "Best Doctors" by Castle-Connolly and New York Magazine for 10+ years.

Minimally Invasive Anterior Approach