What Is ALIF?
An ALIF is an operation to fuse spinal levels in the lower lumbar spine. Depending on the number of levels affected, it usually involves one or two spinal levels.
The operation is done through a small incision (usually less than 3 inches) in the front of the abdomen.
A small incision is made in the front of the neck, and muscles are spread to avoid trauma. The esophagus and trachea need to be moved to access the front of the spine in the neck. The intervertebral disc(s) is/are removed entirely, and all pressure on the nerves is relieved.
Dr. Bjerke does this procedure in a minimally-invasive fashion. A small incision is made in a natural crease in the neck to minimize scar. All muscles are spread and not cut whenever possible. All sutures are placed underneath the skin (similar to a plastic surgery procedure) to minimize scarring.
Most patients will be able to leave the hospital the same day as surgery. Nearly all other patients will be able to leave the hospital the next day.