Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion and Tiger Woods
There are many minimally invasive techniques to treat spine surgery, and one of the best among them all is anterior lumbar interbody fusion. It is an effective spine surgery for back pain.
ALIF requires the surgeon to approach the spine from the front. Simply put, it involves making a tiny incision in the abdomen or belly to reach the damaged disc in the lumbar spine.
Many people suffer from back conditions and injuries, which can lead to severe discomfort and pain. Recent research studies show that lower back pain affects more than 80% of Americans at some point in life.
Types of Interbody Fusion
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure performed to stop painful movement in the back. The procedure leads to decreased flexibility and range of motion in the lumbar spine. There are several types of interbody fusion surgeries that MINT surgeons perform to provide vertebral stability and pain relief. Here a few types of interbody fusion minimally invasive techniques.
Laminoforaminotomy is an interbody surgery performed at MINT to treat cervical radiculopathy. The surgery has derived its name from the spine’s lamina, a thin bony plate located at the neck’s back. The primary function of the lamina is to protect the spinal canal.
Besides, the patient can sometimes feel painful symptoms in both hands. The purpose of performing laminoforaminotomy is to relieve a pinched nerve or nerve root compression and other related pain symptoms. The procedure requires the surgeon to remove a portion of bone from the vertebra, lamina, or foramina, to widen the space to relieve nerve compression.
It is an interbody fusion procedure that involves the fusion of two vertebral bones. The operation requires the surgeon to make a small incision to the side of the patient’s body.
It is one of the best minimally invasive techniques that involve accessing the lumbar spine from the back. The procedure involves removing the disc between two spinal bones and inserting the graft material into space between two vertebral segments.
TLIF shows a lot of similarities with PLIF. However, the only difference between the two is that each procedure uses a different instrument to stabilize the spine.
ALIF vs. Open-Back Surgery
ALIF stands for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. It is one of the minimally invasive techniques and spine surgery for back pain. Before we discuss ALIF surgery’s advantages, it is essential to know about the disadvantages of open-back surgical techniques.
Open back surgery is a traditional approach that requires the surgeon to reach the spine through a large incision in the back or abdomen. During an open-back surgery, the surgeons make a large incision, i.e., about 6 inches long in the back, to dissect the spinal muscles. The purpose is to pull the back muscles away from the bone. It is known as the process of retraction.
Once the surgeon reaches the spinal bones, he will start the necessary procedure. Remember, an open-back surgery requires anesthesia, large incisions, muscles and ligaments retraction, longer hospital stay, and recovery times.
On the other hand, ALIF is one of the best minimally invasive techniques that require the surgeon to use specialized instruments to approach the spine. In general, fusion surgeries include XLIF, PLIF, LLIF, TLIF, and ALIF. Although each technique has its pros and cons, ALIF is an effective method that enables the surgeon to preserve the back muscles and tissues.
Benefits of ALIF surgery include small incisions, no muscle cutting, less blood loss, and shorter hospital stays. For instance, here at MINT, we discharge most patients with a day or two.
ALIF has a smaller risk of infection and leads to less pain after surgery. A patient will also have decreased reliance on conservative medications, such as muscle relaxants and painkillers. Fast recovery and shorter periods of rehabilitation are some other benefits of ALIF surgery.
Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion at MINT
Once you decide to undergo ALIF surgery, it is essential to choose a clinic that offers experience, expertise, and commitment to supporting you through the procedure. MINT has a team of qualified surgeons who know how to perform ALIF surgery adequately.
Moreover, the advancements in equipment and non-traumatic MIS techniques that MINT has made for many years make us the leader in performing back surgeries, including the ALIF procedure.
While many surgeons through the U.S, even the large surgery centers, claim to do interbody fusion surgery, the reality is that most institutions are just learning how to do it. Although MINT doesn’t make big claims, we pride ourselves on excellence, experience, skill, facility, equipment, tools, and techniques like anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Contact us today!