Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

  • Henry E. Aryan
  • Sigurd H. Berven
  • Christopher P. Ames

Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) is a method of achieving intersegmental arthrodesis that is indicated for the treatment of symptomatic degenerative disease [1, 2]. While ALIF has use for indications involving multiple levels and complex combinations of anterior and posterior instrumentation, fusions for degenerative and deformity cases, spondylolisthesis [3, 4], and failed posterior surgery with pseudoarthroses, a common indication remains the treatment of symptomatic degenerative disc disease. The symptomatic degenerative disc often presents with aching low back pain that radiates into the buttocks and sacroiliac areas.


Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion Poor Visualization Adjacent Vertebral Body Left Common Iliac Vein Lateral Fluoroscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Lubbers T, Bentlage C, Sandvoss G. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion as a treatment for chronic refractory lower back pain in disc degeneration and spondylolisthesis using carbon cages – stand alone. Zentralbl Neurochir. 2002;63(1):12–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Resnick DK, et al. Guidelines for the performance of fusion procedures for degenerative disease of the lumbar spine. Part 11: interbody techniques for lumbar fusion. J Neurosurg Spine. 2005;2(6):692–699.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Suk KS, et al. Comparison between posterolateral fusion with pedicle screw fixation and anterior interbody fusion with pedicle screw fixation in adult spondylolytic spondylolisthesis. Yonsei Med J. 2001;42(3):316–323.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ishihara H, et al. Minimum 10-year follow-up study of anterior lumbar interbody fusion for isthmic spondylolisthesis. J Spinal Disord. 2001;14(2):91–99.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mulconrey DS, et al. Interobserver reliability in the interpretation of diagnostic lumbar MRI and nuclear imaging. Spine J. 2006;6(2):177–184.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Thalgott JS, et al. A new classification system for degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine based on magnetic resonance imaging, provocative discography, plain radiographs and anatomic considerations. Spine J. 2004;4(6 Suppl):167S–172S.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Benneker LM, et al. Correlation of radiographic and MRI parameters to morphological and biochemical assessment of intervertebral disc degeneration. Eur Spine J. 2005;14(1):27–35.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Knox BD, Chapman TM. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion for discogram concordant pain. J Spinal Disord. 1993;6(3):242–244.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bradford DS, Zdeblick TA. The Spine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004. pp. xiv, 354.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Brau SA. Mini-open approach to the spine for anterior lumbar interbody fusion: description of the procedure, results and complications. Spine J. 2002;2(3):216–223.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Rajaraman V, et al. Visceral and vascular complications resulting from anterior lumbar interbody fusion. J Neurosurg. 1999;91(1 Suppl):60–64.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Inamasu J, Guiot BH. Vascular injury and complication in neurosurgical spine surgery. Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2006;148(4):375–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Inamasu J, Kim DH, Logan L. Three-dimensional computed tomographic anatomy of the abdominal great vessels pertinent to L4–L5 anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2005;48(3):127–131.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Saraph V, et al. Comparison of conventional versus minimally invasive extraperitoneal approach for anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Eur Spine J. 2004;13(5):425–431.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kaiser MG, et al. Comparison of the mini-open versus laparoscopic approach for anterior lumbar interbody fusion: a retrospective review. Neurosurgery. 2002;51(1):97–103; discussion 103–105.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inamasu J, Guiot BH. Laparoscopic anterior lumbar interbody fusion: a review of outcome studies. Minim Invasive Neurosurg. 2005;48(6):340–347.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heniford BT, Matthews BD, Lieberman IH. Laparoscopic lumbar interbody spinal fusion. Surg Clin North Am. 2000;80(5):1487–1500.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Chung SK, et al. Comparative study of laparoscopic L5–S1 fusion versus open mini-ALIF, with a minimum 2-year follow-up. Eur Spine J. 2003;12(6):613–617.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Zdeblick TA, David SM. A prospective comparison of surgical approach for anterior L4–L5 fusion: laparoscopic versus mini anterior lumbar interbody fusion. Spine. 2000;25(20):2682–2687.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Gumbs AA, et al. The open anterior paramedian retroperitoneal approach for spine procedures. Arch Surg. 2005;140(4):339–343.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Aryan HE, Acosta FL Jr., Ames CP. The Charité Artificial Disc: insertion technique. Neurosurg Clin N Am. 2005 October;16(4):637–650, vii.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry E. Aryan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sigurd H. Berven
    • 3
  • Christopher P. Ames
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryUniversity of California-San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA
  2. 2.Sierra Pacific Orthopaedic & Spine CenterFresnoUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryUniversity of California San Francisco, UCSF Medical CenterSan FranciscoUSA
  4. 4.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of California San FranciscoSan FranciscoUSA

Personalised recommendations