New Advances in Spinal Fusion Technology – Anterior Lumbar Fusion

Dr. Hamid Mir is interviewed about a new minimally invasive spinal fusion named ALIF; Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. This procedure is unique because the surgery is performed from the stomach.

New, Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery techniques are giving hope to millions of people suffering from debilitating back injuries, spinal diseases, and other ailments that stem from problems with the spine.

Many already know the devastating aftereffects of traditional invasive type spine operations. These procedures require lengthy hospital stays, heavy narcotics to manage pain, and long recovery periods often requiring months of rehabilitation before a person can return to work.

A new method of performing spinal fusions, however, is giving both doctors and patients a new perspective when it comes to treating back issues related to the spine.

Used to correct problems with the delicate bones of the spine known as vertebrae, the idea is to fuse two painful sections of the spine together so that they now form a solid bone mass, and are therefore stronger, and less likely to cause pain.

Spinal fusions are an option when the cause of the discomfort is traced to abnormal movements in the vertebral body.

Depending on the type of care required there are several methods for attaining access to the spinal column. Traditionally, the posterior method was used but created a myriad of problems including the need to physically move the sensitive nerves of the spine to perform the procedure.

Today, cutting-edge medical professionals are embracing a different approach in the newer Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or ALIF procedure.

An interbody fusion is a minimally invasive method of spinal fusion involving the removal of the intervertebral disk. The surgeon can approach the spine through incisions in the lower back, or through incisions from the anterior.

In an ALIF, the surgeon accesses the lower back from the front through an incision in the stomach.

Dr. Hamid Mir a Board-Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and a renowned specialist in minimally invasive spinal procedures. Dr. Mir says the new approach is “…less destructive to the soft tissue, and allows for easier access to the affected area without having the need to disturb the nerves around the spine while performing the surgery.”

Dr. Mir continues to say that “Recovery times for the ALIF are greatly reduced, and patients report fewer aftercare issues commonly associated with older surgical methods.”

Why Choose ALIF?

Because of the newness of the ALIF procedure, many doctors are still being taught the proper technique. Surgeons may choose to use the ALIF procedure if some, or any of the following conditions exist:

· Avoiding multiple surgeries in one area. Especially if previous spinal surgeries have been performed using a posterior approach.

· Direct access to the intervertebral disk is required.

· Recovery time needs to be managed

In a recent interview, Dr. Mir said that he “prefers ALIF for the younger and active patients and not so for older patients with vascular disease.”

Fusions, in general, are recommended in special cases where simple lumbar decompression cannot be performed. Using microscopic techniques, skilled surgeons are able to take the pressure off the nerve without fusion.

If a patient has been recommended to undergo a spinal fusion, they are suggested to first see if they are a candidate for non-fusion techniques by checking with a Board-Certified Orthopedic Spine Surgeon at their earliest convenience.

Release ID: 435843