Anterior Lumbar Fusion, 1 level (ALIF)


Lumbar fusion is one of the most common back surgeries performed. If you have back pain, instability, pain radiating into your arms or down your legs, and/or have damaged discs between your vertebrae, you may be a candidate for lumbar fusion. By fusing together two or more of your vertebrae (spinal fusion), your doctor can stabilize your spine and likely reduce or eliminate the pain you are experiencing.

Estimated Price

$47,300.00*

The pricing information provided by this website is strictly an estimation of pricing.

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Provider List

2900 12th Avenue North #140W & #100E
Billings, MT 59101
(406) 237-5050

What is Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a way to stabilize parts of the neck or back by causing vertebrae to grow together as they would with a broken bone by using metal plates, rods, and/or screws to hold them together.

When Procedure is Used

Lumbar fusion is performed when a patient has a vertebra that slips back and forth (called spondylolisthesis) or discs that have degenerated. It can also be performed following a severe back injury or to provide general stability to the spine. Spinal fusion is a treatment option when motion is the source of pain. Eliminating the vertebral movement may alleviate your pain and help you to return to normal activites.

During Surgery

You will be given general anesthesia for surgery. An Anterior Lumbar Fusion involves the surgeon approaching the lower spine from the front instead of the back. This approach may be used if you’ve had previous back surgery and will allow more direct access to the intervertebral disc without disturbing nerves and muscles in your back. A 3-5 inch incision will be made in your lower abdomen. With assistance from a general surgeon, your organs and vessels will be retracted to the side to expose the disc space. Your surgeon will then locate and remove the damaged disc before replacing it with a bone graft from your body or a cadaver. The bone graft along with plates, rods, and screws will fuse the vertebrae below and above it together. This should stabilize the spine and reduce the pain you are experiencing. In some cases, the surgeon may use an artifical disc instead of a fusion.

Risks

The risk of complications is very low. However, potential risks might include

  • allergic reactions to medications
  • nerve damage
  • bleeding or blood clots
  • infection
  • injury to surrounding tissues
  • numbness
  • reduced mobility following fusion

Benefits

  • decrease in pain
  • increase in stability
  • increase in strength

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