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Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) is a back surgery that involves approaching the spine through an incision in the abdomen. A portion of the affected disc space is removed from the spine and replaced with an implant. Titanium or stainless steel screws an rods may be inserted into the back of the spin supplement the stability of the entire construct. Patients who are suffering from back and/or leg pain are potential candidates for the ALIF procedure. This pain is generally caused by natural degeneration of the disc space.
The surgeon makes an incision in the patient's abdomen to access the spine.
To have a clear view of the spine, the surgeon then retracts the abdominal and vascular structures.
Once the spine is in view, the surgeon removes a portion of the degenerated disc from the affected disc space.
After this disc material is removed, the surgeon inserts bone graft material into the disc space to restore the normal anatomic condition of the spine.