Regis W. Haid, Jr., MD, Spine Surgeon
The anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is similar to the posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), except that in the ALIF, the disc space is fused by approaching the spine through the abdomen instead of through the lower back. In the ALIF approach, a three-inch to five-inch incision is made on the left side of the abdomen and the abdominal muscles are retracted to the side.
The main advantages to the ALIF approach are that both the back muscles and nerves remain undisturbed. An additional advantage is that placing the bone graft in the front of the spine places it in compression, and bone in compression tends to fuse better.
Dr. Haid assesses the possible use of Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures where ever they may be appropriate. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Haid's contribution to minimally invasive spine surgery, you may wish to visit his Curriculum Vitae on this website.