Traditional Spine Fusion: ALIF, PLIF

Traditional Spine Fusion: ALIF, PLIF Overview

A fusion is a surgical operation that involves placing bone graft between two vertebrae in order to fuse or stabilize the spine. The bone graft is placed into the area where the intervertebral disc has been removed. The bone graft will slowly strengthen and become a more solid fusion over time.

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Advantages of Traditional Surgery

  • Ability to perform palpation
  • Greater field of view for surgeon
  • Less expensive equipment required

Conditions Treated with Traditional Spine Fusion: ALIF, PLIF

Fusions are often recommended when pain cannot be managed and there is a breakdown of the supportive structures of the spine. Examples of these conditions are Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Stenosis and Spondylolisthesis

  • Spinal Stenosis

    Spinal stenosis narrows and encumbers openings in the spine that allow nerve passage. Stenosis is usually preceded by indicators of more commonly found conditions such as bone spurs and herniated discs. As time progresses and other conditions are of the spine are not addressed, it may progress to spinal stenosis.

  • Degenerative Disc Disease

    This condition is a progressive weakening of the vertebral discs, the cushions between the vertebrae. This condition develops as a normal part of the aging process and wear and tear, but it may also result after an injury to the back or with certain predisposing back conditions.

  • Herniated Disc

    A herniated disc occurs when the inner disc material, called the nucleus, pushes through the tough outer wall of the disc. When this bulging area comes into contact with surrounding nerves it causes pain, tingling and discomfort that can be felt locally and also down the nerve’s path that it follows.

  • Spondylolisthesis

    Spondylolisthesis is vertebral slippage in the spinal column. The human spine has a perfectly aligned shape for motion, but spondylolisthesis distorts this alignment. This slippage can be caused by aging of the spine, a congenital disorder, an injury, and also diseases such as those that can cause abnormal growths on the spine.

  • Facet Joint Syndrome

    Facet joint syndrome can develop when spinal discs become weak or degenerated and place more stress on the facet joints, the joints between two vertebrae that allow them to work in unison to provide motion.

  • Sciatica

    A pinched nerve in the spine that is sending pain signals to the buttocks, hamstring (back of leg), or further down one or both legs. Sciatica can result from a variety of problems with the discs or other problems in the lower back.