MIS ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion helps relieve low back pain or leg pain caused by degenerative disc disease.

The mini-open ALIF is performed with the patient lying on their back, usually under general anesthesia. Fluoroscopy helps guide the surgeon during the procedure. The incision is made in the lower abdomen and is usually less than 2 inches in length. A common approach is for the surgeon to retract the abdominal muscles in order to access the spine to remove the damaged disc. This leaves an open space that needs to be filled in order to stabilize the spine. A small cage made of plastic polymer or titanium is filled with bone graft and then placed in the empty space. The bone graft fuses the vertebrae and helps stabilize the spine. If additional support is needed, the surgeon will use rods and screws to further stabilize the spine.

An advantage of the ALIF procedure over a more extensive posterior approach is that the incision is made in the abdomen instead of the back. This allows the back muscles and nerves to remain undisturbed. This procedure is generally performed in an outpatient setting or 23 hour stay. Patients are usually able to return to an active lifestyle without restrictions quicker than with traditional spine surgery.

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Maahir Haque, MD is recognized as a leader in the field of minimally invasive spine surgery. At Spine Group Orlando, Dr. Maahir Haque also provides second opinions for spine surgery and MRI reviews for those with back pain and neck pain. Dr. Haque emphasizes non-surgical options for back pain and neck pain where possible. This can include accessing a back pain specialist with expertise in pain-relieving spinal injections and spine therapists. Spine therapy can include back stretches that can be a future home remedy for back pain or neck pain. If spine surgery is necessary because of a herniated disc, spinal fracture, or spinal stenosis, Dr. Maahir Haque operates through tubular retractors that reduce the size of the incision, lessen blood loss, reduce time in the hospital, speed return to activity with a less painful recovery. This spine surgery expertise enables many patients to have outpatient spine surgery and be home the same day. Spine Group Orlando and Dr. Maahir Haque provides artificial disc replacement in the neck using the Mobi-C disc implant, the first FDA-approved disc for multiple levels in the neck. Prodisc-C is also used for artificial disc replacement in the cervical spine. Dr. Hacque is also one of the few spine surgeons in Orlando, Florida to provide lumbar artificial disc replacement using the Prodisc-L artificial disc. Dr. Hacque is also referred patients from across Orlando and north central Florida for artificial disc replacement surgery as an alternative to spinal fusion. Accordingly, Dr. Haque's patients travel from across north central Florida, including: Orlando; Jacksonville; Tallahassee; Lakeland; Gainesville; Tampa; Daytona Beach; and Cocoa Beach. The spine center, as a destination for medical tourism for some international patients from Mexico and the Caribbean, can provide recommendations to out-of-town patients on nearby hotels and tourist attractions.