What is the Mini ALIF?
The Mini ALIF is a type of spinal fusion during which surgeons enter from the front (anterior) of the body, through a small incision on the lower abdomen, and remove a painful disc, usually at the L4/5 or L5/S1 level.
Surgeons then insert a cage (usually titanium) with bone graft to replace the removed disc. The titanium cage restores most or all of the original disc height and helps to fuse two parts of the spine together. Often, medical screws are also used to stabilize the spine. These screws are inserted through two small incisions on the back.
What conditions does Mini ALIF treat?
The Mini ALIF is most commonly used to treat spondylolisthesis, degenerative disk disease or ongoing pain after a lumbar discectomy. Any of these conditions may be accompanied by spinal stenosis, which leads to nerve compression that can cause pain into the buttocks or legs.
Hear From Two of Our Surgeons
Seth Williams, UW Health spine surgeon, and Jon Matsumura, UW Health vascular surgeon, explain more about Mini ALIF.