Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

An anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is performed to remove a large portion of a degenerated disc that is frequently the source of back or leg pain. This procedure makes space between the vertebral bodies, relieving pressure and creating more room for spinal nerves to exit. It is called an anterior procedure because the spine is approached from the front. Unlike posterior approaches (from the back), the anterior approach avoids damage to the low back muscles. The removed disc portion is replaced with implanted bone grafting materials and adjacent vertebral bodies fuse to provide support.