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Anterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion @ L5S1

Im having my 3rd surgery,('04 & '07) in a lil over a week, ive been searching the forums, what im told is that im having anterior lumbar spinal fusion at L5S1 same spot as my previous surgeries, whats the difference between this surgery and ALIF or is there a difference? Im so confused and nervous on this one
Laminectomy L5S1 2004 & 2007
Anterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion L5S1 8/26/14


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • pinkfloydpinkfloyd Posts: 70
    edited 08/16/2014 - 2:14 AM
    is this a redo of a previous fusion or a decompression I am guessing that you have had a decompression and as you are still in pain and your spine is unstable you now need a ALIF ?? . the ALIF is far more involved than a decompression and there are many posts on ALIF so I wont repeat what's already available just search ALIF in the search box at the top of the spine health page .
  • I had lamnectomy(sp?) repair the last two surgeries, I should've had a fusion in '07 but the neuro felt since I was morbidly obese that it wouldn't take, I've searched the forums, the ALIF says it uses bone in between the vert and what I'm told from my surgeon is that it's a spacer never said anything about it being bone, and he called it anterior lumbar spinal fusion, never mentioned ALIF
    Laminectomy L5S1 2004 & 2007
    Anterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion L5S1 8/26/14
  • they use carbon fiber cages to ;;rebuild ;;the damaged spinal material hence the interbody bit they use bone removed from your spine or iliac crest [your hip} of sometimes synthetic bone .they put the mushed up bone in the cages then use und plates and screws to secure the lot together its purely mechanical fix just like meccano ! .they go in via your abdominal area move all your bits to one side the rebuild your spine using the method mentioned above ..its no easy task and it very hard to recover from but on the plus side the surgeon can get a better fix from the front than from the rear .ALIF from the front .PLIF from the rear .TLIF from the side ..{not as common as the other two } good luck
  • Ok Im not having a ALIF surgery, I know im getting an artificial spacer, and when using the model to show me there was no cages, but i would have the plates, screws and rods.... Thank you very much pink for the info i really appreciate
    Laminectomy L5S1 2004 & 2007
    Anterior Lumbar Spinal Fusion L5S1 8/26/14
  • maybe you're having ADR / {artificial disk replacement }??
    I am not too sure what else you could be having from what you have said it did sound like ALIF maybe check with your consultant to find out exactly what he intends to do with you ...you have a right to know
    again ..good luck
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