Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Performed in Houston, Cypress & Tomball, TX
An anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a type of spine surgery that may be considered to address low back pain or spinal instability when conservative treatment is insufficient. Specifically, ALIF may be appropriate for treating a fractured vertebra, a bulging or herniated disc, a vertebra that has slipped forward over the vertebra immediately below it (spondylolisthesis), abnormal spinal curvature or excessive motion between two vertebrae.
Before suggesting an anterior lumbar interbody fusion, a surgeon will evaluate several factors, such as the patient’s specific condition, age, and overall health and activity level. In general, a good candidate for ALIF is a patient who does not have an excessive amount of spinal instability or vertebral slippage, and who has little to no spinal stenosis or spinal nerve compression. Usually, ALIF is not recommended as a stand-alone treatment for patients with spinal arthritis or osteoporosis.
What Does ALIF Involve?
When performing an anterior lumbar interbody fusion, a surgeon accesses the spine from the front (anterior) of the body while the patient lies on his or her back. After removing all or part of a damaged disc in the lower back (lumbar spine), the surgeon will strengthen the vertebrae surrounding the remaining disc space (interbody) by fusing them together with a bone graft. In addition to serving as a binding medium, the bone graft will help to maintain the proper disc height.
During the healing process, the vertebrae and bone graft will gradually meld together, helping to stabilize the spine. If necessary, the surgeon may place instrumentation, such as rods, screws, plates, wires or cages, to create an “internal cast” to support the vertebral structure as it heals.
A Trusted Orthopedic Spine Surgeon in Texas
Widely known as a spine surgery innovator, R. Alexander Mohr, MD, of Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine practices at locations in Houston, Cypress, and Tomball, TX, making it convenient for his patients to schedule office visits. If you choose to proceed with an anterior lumbar interbody fusion or another surgical procedure, you can feel confident in Dr. Mohr, who is skilled and experienced in performing the latest surgical techniques and often incorporates minimally invasive components into open procedures.
A master of ALIF and other complex surgical techniques, Dr. Mohr also provides a full range of conservative treatment options for conditions that cause low back pain, and he recommends surgery only when he believes it is truly necessary after exhausting all appropriate nonsurgical therapies.
To discuss your treatment options for lower back pain with Dr. Mohr, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today.