What is a Alif?

An ALIF is a spinal operation where the spine is approached from the front rather than from the back. It is performed through the abdomen, usually with the assistance of a vascular surgeon to move the major blood vessels out of the way. The disc is removed and pressure on the nerves can be relieved.

What does Alif stand for surgery?

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion is a surgery to treat disc problems in the low back. Fusion locks together two or more bones to stop painful motion and correct their alignment. Through an incision in the front of the belly, the disc is removed.

What is Alif surgery used for?

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a spine surgery that involves approaching the spine from the front (anterior) of the body to remove all or part of a herniated disc from in between two adjacent vertebrae (interbody) in the lower back (lumbar spine), then fusing, or joining together, the vertebrae on either

What is the success rate of Alif surgery?

In general terms ALIFs (anterior lumbar interbody fusion) and PLIFs (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) have a success rate of about 70%. Success itself is not easy to define, but I suggest to my patients that they have a good chance of a significant reduction of pain.

Which is better Alif or Tlif?

These suggest that ALIF is superior to TLIF in its capacity to restore disc height and lumbar lordosis. ALIF was associated with restoration of disc height, segmental lordosis and total lumbar lordosis, lower dural injury but higher blood vessel injury (14).

Can screws come loose after spinal fusion?

Pedicle screw loosening is a common complication after spine surgeries. Traditionally, it was assessed by radiological approaches, both X-ray and CT (computed tomography) scan, while reports using mechanical method to study screw loosening after spine surgery are rare.

Who needs Alif surgery?

Modern Applications of ALIF Surgery In cases where there is not a lot of instability, an ALIF alone can be sufficient. Generally, this is true in cases of one level degenerative disc disease where there is a lot of disc space collapse.

How do you sleep in bed after spinal fusion?

It is generally OK after back surgery to sleep in whatever position is most comfortable. Some prefer to sleep on one side or the other with a pillow between their knees and/or behind them to support the back. Here is another position that takes stress off the low back: Lay face up on the bed.

What is the recovery time for a L5 S1 fusion?

Your Recovery It may take 4 to 6 weeks to get back to doing simple activities, such as light housework. It may take 6 months to a year for your back to get better completely. You may need to wear a back brace while your back heals.

How long does pain last after Alif surgery?

You will feel the initial post- operative soreness for at least a few weeks after surgery and that is generally how long it can take to return to desk/office type work. More physical work may require up to 6 weeks recovery to feel up to that level of activity.

Does spinal fusion last forever?

The results of a fusion are permanent. When the bones fuse as intended, it changes the natural mobility of your spine, affecting the area around the surgical site and in various body parts as well.

When can you go back to work after Alif surgery?

In general, you may expect to be off work for the first two weeks following your surgery. You may then qualify for light duty sit-down work depending on your progress. It may take three to six months before you can return to physically demanding work, such as construction or heavy lifting.

What is the success rate of L5 S1 fusion?

There was an overall 80% fusion rate for all patients who underwent anterior lumbar fusion at L5-S1. Average age was 34 years, with average length of disability from low-back pain of 11 months.

Can a spinal fusion cause ED?

It appears that the surgically induced pain reduction related improvement in overall sexual function may be counteracted by the surgically induced neurological disturbance, when performing lumbar fusion for CLBP. The anterior approach appears to be associated with an increased risk of sexual dysfunction in men.

Is it normal to have leg pain after a back surgery?

Although spine surgery has become much more reliable in the last 20 years or so, some patients will still have leg pain after a lumbar decompression surgery for spinal stenosis or a disc herniation. Sometimes this is a temporary condition as the nerve root or roots take time to heal. This can take days to weeks.

What is success rate of spinal fusion?

Depending on the condition the surgery is treating, spinal fusion has a 70 to 90% success rate.

Why would you need a spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more vertebrae in your spine to improve stability, correct a deformity or reduce pain. Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion to treat: Deformities of the spine. Spinal fusion can help correct spinal deformities, such as a sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis).

Is TLIF anterior or posterior?

TLIF fuses the anterior (front) and posterior (back) columns of the spine through a single posterior approach. The anterior portion of the spine is stabilized by the bone graft and interbody spacer. The posterior column is locked in place with pedicle screws, rods, and bone graft.

How bad is the pain after spinal fusion surgery?

After surgery, pain is no longer achy and arthritic but stems from wound healing, swelling and inflammation. You will experience some pain outside of the hospital. For most back surgeries, it will take 1-1.5 months to resume “normal” mobility and function. During this time, pain should be tolerable and controlled.

Can one bend ruin a spinal fusion?

Avoid bending at all after a lumbar fusion if possible, as bending or twisting can interfere with the way the fusion heals and even damage the work that was done.

What does a failed fusion feel like?

After any spine surgery, a percentage of patients may still experience pain. This is called failed back or failed fusion syndrome, which is characterized by intractable pain and an inability to return to normal activities. Surgery may be able to fix the condition but not eliminate the pain.

What happens if you fall after spinal fusion?

A fall after spinal fusion surgery can cause re-injury or prevent the fusion from forming if the fall is severe enough. Prior to your surgery, do a home inspection and remove loose rugs and other potential hazards, and also consider: Nonslip bathmats.

Why do my hips hurt after lumbar fusion?

There are three possible causes of SIJ pain: (1) an increased mechanical load transfer onto the SIJ after fusion; (2) bone graft harvesting in the iliac crest close to the joint; and (3) the misdiagnosis of an SIJ syndrome before fusion (i.e., the lumbar spine is thought, erroneously, to be fused) [4].

How long does it take the S1 nerve to heal?

Symptoms often improve within 6 weeks to 3 months. If radiculopathy symptoms do not improve with conservative treatments, patients may benefit from an epidural steroid injection (ESI), which reduces the inflammation and irritation of the nerve.

Can I lay on my side after spinal fusion surgery?

Another way to sleep after spinal fusion surgery is on your side. Just like sleeping on your back, sleeping on your side helps reduce pain and pressure. Try to alternate between sleeping on your left and right side to distribute the pressure and benefit your spine’s alignment.

Can you sit in a recliner after spinal fusion?

It is okay to sit while eating and for half an hour at a time. Recliners are better than soft-backed chairs. Do not lift more than 10 pounds for the first 4 weeks after surgery. It is okay to climb stairs.

Can I lay on my stomach after lumbar fusion?

Sleeping On Your Stomach While stomach sleeping is not usually permitted or recommended for patients recovering from surgery, unfortunately, there’s no stopping someone with chronic pain from sleeping in this position.

Can you walk too much after spinal fusion?

Walk, Walk, Walk. Individuals recovering from surgery are prone to put on excess weight because they are often limited in their mobility (and therefore their ability to burn calories), especially in the first 2 to 3 weeks after surgery.

How long does it take for nerves to heal after spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion surgery recovery typically takes anywhere from three to six months, and this time frame includes the various types of physical therapy that each patient must undergo.

How long do you take pain meds after spinal fusion?

Medication Transition There is usually no need for opioids after about 2 weeks to 1 month. The shift away from opioid pain medications requires the patient to be aware of some pros and cons of other pain relief options. Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol).

Can you live a normal life after spinal fusion?

Even people requiring bigger surgeries like spinal fusion are 90% likely to return to work and stay at work long term. While most people recover from back pain through exercise and healthy lifestyles, those who require surgery can expect to return to work and “get their life back” too.

Is it normal to have back pain after Alif surgery?

It is very common to have back pain following a spinal fusion. This is incisional and post-operative pain that should slowly improve as the wound and muscles heal It is not unusual for back pain to persist for several months after a spinal fusion.

How long do you stay in the hospital after spinal fusion surgery?

Hospital recovery after a fusion surgery focuses on managing pain and learning how to move safely while the lumbar spinal fusion solidifies. solidifies. A hospital stay of between 2 and 4 days is typical.

What should you not do with spondylolisthesis?

There should be restriction of heavy lifting, excessive bending, twisting or stooping and avoidance of any work or recreational activities that causes stress to the lumbar spine. Your physician will outline a rehabilitation program to return you to your activities as soon as possible.

Why are spinal fusions bad?

Potential complications include infection, bleeding, graft site pain, nerve damage and blood clots. The risk of eventual reoperation is significant, Weinstein says: up to 20 percent over time. 13. No surgery, or other less-invasive surgery like spinal decompression, may be a better choice, depending on your condition.

How do I know if my spinal fusion failed?

In addition to chronic back pain, other symptoms of failed back surgery include neurological symptoms (eg, numbness, weakness, tingling sensations), leg pain, and radicular pain (pain that spreads from one area of the body to another, such as from your neck down to your arm).

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