The primary goal of a Minimally Invasive Anterior Lumber Interbody Fusion (ALIF) is to relieve pressure on either the nerve roots or spinal cord and/or treat a painful disc.
Unlike open fusions, the ALIF allows the surgeons to enter through the abdominal area using two small incisions, one on the front and the other on the side.
The unhealthy disc is removed, using surgical instruments.
An interbody fusion implant may be inserted to fill the vacant disc space. A plate and screws, or an integrated plate-spacer and screws, may be used to hold the vertebrae in place while fusion (bones growing together) occurs.
A minimally invasive procedure typically allows patients to get out of bed the day of the surgery and may be discharged the day after surgery . Many patients will notice improvement of some or all of their symptoms and pain from surgery may diminish between 2 to 4 weeks after surgery . However, recovery time varies between patients.
It is the surgeon’s goal for the patient to eventually return to his/her pre-operative activities . A positive attitude, reasonable expectations and compliance with your doctor’s post-surgery instructions may all contribute to a satisfactory outcome .