I am very happy I found this site, I have been reading a lot to learn more about the ALIF and PLIF surgeries. My surgeon, after trying injections, chiropractic, and some physical therapy, has recommended ALIF. Like most people I am just doing my "due diligence" here. I have a herniated disc at L5/S1 that causes pain down both legs at various times and I have constant low back pain that ranges between 3-8. I have taken so many OTC pain meds that I also now have stomach issues. Other than that I am extremely healthy.
My thoughts on PLIF are that I like the idea of a scar on my lower back rather than my belly. It seems to me to be actually more invasive than ALIF with the removal of the bone (I have no joint instability issues) and placement of screws.
ALIF on the other hand requires a vascular surgeon to be present (more $ I am sure) and the procedure takes place awfully close to major arteries.
I have an appt for a second opinion but, I MAY just go ahead with my surgeon's suggestion. Yes, I know it is a very good idea to have that 2nd or even 3rd opinion. I am just ready and do not want to wait.
I have been told by many people that my surgeon, who only does spines, is considered one of the top 3 surgeons in the US. Does anyone know how to check something like that out?
Anyway, thanks and I'll be on here up until and after my surgery and then frankly, I hope never again