Alif: Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (with bone graft and metal plate)


ALIF, or Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion, is utilized to relieve back and leg pain caused by degenerative disc disease. This procedure helps stabilize the spine by fusing the affected vertebrae together with material from a bone graft.

Incision Made

The surgeon will create a three to five-inch incision either directly in the center or on the side of the stomach.

Disc Removed

Next, the damaged disc is partially removed from the body. Portions of the disc wall are left in place to help the bone graft bind to a natural structure.


The graft will be placed in the empty disc space to realign the vertebral bones. This will lift pressure from the pinched nerve roots to provide the patient near immediate pain relief.

Vertebrae Secured

Metal plates with surgical screws may be used to hold the vertebra in place. Every patient will require differing levels of assistive support. Some may require no support, while others may need metal plates or rods along the back of the spine.

End of Procedure

The bone graft will form a bone bridge to successfully connect the vertebra. This successful bone bridge is referred to as a fusion.

Back and Leg Pain Relief in the Chicagoland Area

Your back and leg pain may be occurring in ways that may seem unconventional at first, but no less important. Find pain relief with the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute. Contact a location near you to see if a condition in the spine is restricting your daily activities and quality of life.