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ALIF versus PLIF



  • You know, I'm not sure if there is a technical name for it. On my website slip she gave me she wrote "Search for: ALIF with Posterior fixation"

    As far as I know, my only back issues are DDD at L4-L5, and a mild herniation at T11-T12. I don't have any pain from the mild herniation, though. I get pain higher up in my back on the right side whenever I am using my arms to wash dishes, fold laundry, etc... But it's not as bad as the pain from when I sit up straight. If that pain and the leg pain are taken care of by the fusion, then I will be extremely happy!

    I think she said because I'm really young she wanted it to be more secure. I read that a lot of times they do more for the younger patients, because their physical demands normally exceed those of older patients. I am happy she's doing it this way, because the more secure the safer I'll feel. I hope for a nice strong fusion so it will last me til I'm an old lady :) Not sure how realistic that hope is, but Lol. My NS also said bad discs can be genetic and hereditary.. My mom has about 5 or 6 problem discs, and my sister, who's 23, has 2 or so of her own. Hoping the rest of my discs last me til I'm at least a grandmother! :)

    Good luck with your surgery! I hope things work out well for you and you don't require any more revisions! Let us know how you're doing :)
  • I had a TLIF (with anterior incision) my doctor never gave me a choice NOR did he even tell me where my incision would be! I kinda figured it out on my own. My recovery has been amazing!
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  • I had an ALIF, because I won't take a blood transfusion,my NS said that the anterior aproach would provide the greatest control over any bleeding issues that may arise.
    And, that there is less chance of nerve damage. I do have a nasty incision, about 11 inches long, (from above the belly button clear down to my you know what. ) And even at 17 weeks out it's still painful, not to mention ugly. I've had a rough time this summer,but I don't think a different approach would have made any difference. Heavens they're cutting your body open, moving some things around, drilling holes in your bones,etc....I have a friend that had a PLIF 3 level and when we compare notes,we both have about the same thing to say, it's painful. And there's no guarantee that either procedure will solve the problems you had to start with. My friend said it took her over a year to feel "normal" again,so I'm not expecting too much at 17 weeks! At this time , I can say that my initial leg pain when sitting/driving is gone, and I think my surgeon will consider that as success. I still have awful pain in my back, hips,along with spasms that go from my shoulder blades to my tail I hope time will help in alleving those issues. Anyway.... be prepared , and have some help lined up...with 3 little ones, you'll most definitely need it. I only have one...and man oh man,thank heavens she still takes naps! Keep us posted on what's going on with you....that will help too.
    Take care and I'll be thinking of you!
  • My surgeon opted for an ALIF procedure.. I'm sure it was done to he's preferred method and what needs fusing. The only problem is that I have one 5 inch vertical scar on my stomach :''( and one 2 inch scar on my hip :SS (as they use bone from the iliac crest)
  • How long ago did you have your ALIF?? I was wondering. I'm having an ALIF on Oct 1st for L5-S1. How did you do, any info would be great!!

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  • your surgeon should be comfortable with both procedures and choose what is best for you the patient.
    I had the ALIF, 2 level due to spondy and DDD. I was told by my surgeon that this is the best route for what I had due to the fact that he would have the best access to the larger part of the vertabrea. This would allow him to give me instant stability once the plates were in place.
    I really do not believe that one procedure over the other will give you a quicker recovery. Both have their issues and both are major surgery. It was no walk in the park by any means. I started to feel "normal" at 4 months. Now at 6 months my lower back feels great and my stamina is totally back to normal. My biggest issue was with my bowels and that still persists.

    Be sure to research your diagnosis and what the recommended procedure is to repair. Then talk to your doctor about what would work best for you. I got 4 opinions before deciding on a doctor. One only did PLIF's and I was leary of that being the best fix.

    Good luck the decision process was the hardest part of everything for me.
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