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Hardware with ALIF?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Am I just confused? I'm having an ALIF at L5-S1 on February 4th. From what I've read, they go in through the front to put in the cage and bone (or BMP, etc.) for the fusion between the vertebrae. Then, if rods and screws are to be used, can they put those in from the front too? Or do they HAVE to go in through the back for that? My doc told me he'll be using rods and screws, but as far as I know, was only going to be going through my abdomen.

I'm going tomorrow for my brace fitting, and I'm supposed to be able to ask the doc all my last minute questions too, so I'll ask for sure. But I wanted to know what you guys think too!


  • I am scheduled for the27th of this month for same thing,and i was told, that they would be going through the front.nothing about going through the back..have you tried your brace on yet,i felt like i had a csi vest on....it is heavier than i was expecting,it seems like it would rub the stomache incesions..oh well i guess i will find out after the 27th take care....marcy
  • I had that fusion and my doc put the cage, plate and screws in from the tummy side. Because of previous surgeries he turned me over and got rid of scar tissue from the back too.
    Seems to me that most rods are added from the back, but don't quote me on that cause I figure really soon someone will tell me I am wrong. lol. Definitely ask your surgeon for his plan so that is not a surprise when you wake up.
  • I get my brace tomorrow! Can't wait! LOL
  • I know for my surgery Wednesday I will only have a front plate and screws, and nothing in the back. Definitely ask your doc, I am not sure how they would put rods & screws in the back from the front...
  • First, he is doing the ALIF and using a titanium plate and "4 little screws" to hold it in place. No cutting in the back, thank goodness! Told me that'd be overkill in my situation. Fine with me!

    Second, I've been struggling with whether to use my own bone or BMP (InFuse). I asked him about it again today and here's what he told me...if I want the BEST chance of a successful fusion, I should use my own bone. He said it's better to have a little more pain now than have to go through this surgery again due to a failed fusion. And regarding the BMP, he said he ALWAYS uses it! Even with my own bone! That part I hadn't understood from him before! he said he's never had any problems using it whatsoever. Good to know, huh?

    Now, if we could only get the dumb insurance company to approve the surgery!!!! Apparently the ALIF is a bigger deal to get approved than a PLIF (maybe because there are 2 surgeons involved?)...wonderful!

  • I had my screws put in from the front. ALIF July 08.

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