Anterior Lumbar interbody fusion is a procedure where a portion of the disc material is removed, then the adjoining vertebrae are fused to provide stability. The procedure is indicated for the treatment of lower lumbar degenerative disc disease causing low back pain and sciatica. The procedure may be combined with pedicle screw fixation (Sextant 5.0) if there is spinal instability associated with degenerative disc disease.
The spine is accessed through an incision in the abdomen, and the disc material removed. The vertebrae are then fused with an implant, usually an INFUSE® Bone Graft and LT-CAGE® Lumbar Tapered Fusion Device. The INFUSE® Bone Graft is recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein – a substitute for the patient’s own bone material, which would otherwise be taken from the hip.
Although recovery time is very much dependent upon individual health and circumstances, patients are generally up and walking in the hospital by the end of the first day after surgery, with a typical inpatient stay of 1-2 days.