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Question about ALIF hardware...

LoLLo Posts: 694
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
What is typically used? Rods & screws in the back.... Or plates in the front? Orrrr hardware on the sides? Or is there a good amount done with just cages?

No real reason for asking other than curiosity.


  • but I'll be having the cage with my own bone and some BMP, plus the titanium plate with screws. He said, for my situation, rods and screws would be "overkill." I'm having an ALIF at L5-S1.
  • I'm curious to know why some fusions have NO hardware at all. Seems risky. My mom had a fusion surgery with no hardware, and it failed (for multiple reasons I believe, but I would think hardware would have helped, yes?)
  • You know, I am not sure why they use no hardware, but I've heard the success rates for those types are VERY, VERY, VERY low. I can't imagine it would be safe... Or secure. I wouldn't be okay with no hardware. I mean, granted, I'm pretty young and pretty active... I'd have a hard time staying in neutral positions and taking it easy until things fused. I think it might be a pretty old school technique... From what I've read, they don't do that very often lately. HOWEVER, I think there is someone here who had a two level ALIF with only cages... No hardware. I think she's doing well, surprisingly.
  • Are you the one who posted in a previous topic about whether they put the hardware in through the front or the back?

    If you are, the rods and screws are done in the back, or on the sides... But I think the sides are pretty rare. The plate and screws would be done from the front.

    I just don't know the statistics of which type of hardware is done and how often....
  • ..........

    With my one level ALIF July 08, I have cage with BMP and 2 screws.

    I probaly did more than I was suppose to while healing.

    I asked the Dr. how much torque was on the screws? He said, until they squeaked. LOL

  • one cage? and only 2 screws? hmm. that's interesting. you only have screws? no plates or rods? that's interesting.
  • I am having L5-S1 fused with nothing but the cage. My doc showed me 12 MRI's of his previous surgeries that he has done this way at 1 yr+ and they are doing amazing. All fused, all happy with their results. I'm nervous about it, but honestly, I love the idea of no hardware. He said there is very little mobility in that section, so it's not needed. ???
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    Back when I had my first lumbar surgery ( 1978 - L4/L5), fusion was only available to me IF I was a blue collar worker or had a job with physical demands. The standard was NOT to fuse. But when they did fuse, I heard almost zilch about using hardware.
    Things sure have changed
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • ALIF done with no plate just cage (that is what is in the disc space, correct?) & 3 screws..2 pointing down & 1 up..my husband was amazed when he saw the xray @ follow up appointment.
    And I DO feel the screws..especially when I move too fast or cough..sneezing is hell :''(
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