Lumbar Fusion in Long Island is the most effective minimally invasive spine surgery for patients with lower back disorders that lead to nerve compression, such as spondylolisthesis and lumbar degenerative disc disease. This minimally invasive procedure decompresses the spinal nerve and restores optimal stability to the lumbar (lower back) spine. Dr. Kakoulides performs the minimally invasive ALIF procedure using bone grafting materials and implants to facilitate spinal fusion between two adjacent vertebrae, thus alleviating the symptoms of spinal instability or a slipped vertebra.
Decompresses the Spinal Nerve with ALIF
What is ALIF?
The details of the ALIF procedure are encoded in the name:
- Anterior refers to the surgical incision being placed on the front of the body, i.e., the abdomen, as opposed to the sides.
- Lumbar indicates it treats disorders related to the lower back region.
- Interbody refers to the spaces between the five vertebrae on the lumbar spine.
- Fusion refers to using bone grafting materials and implants to fuse two vertebrae.
During the anterior lumbar interbody fusion in Long Island procedure, Dr. Kakoulides makes a small incision on the abdomen to access the damaged or slipped vertebrae on the lumbar region of the spine. If your intervertebral spinal discs are damaged or diseased, they’ll be removed to restore optimal intervertebral space, following which various bone grafting materials and implants (rods, plates, cages, screws, etc.) are used to stabilize the spine. Dr. Kakoulides only performs this minimally invasive lumbar fusion in Long Island after all other conservative solutions (physical therapy, injections, etc.) have been tried.
Situations When ALIF is Needed
Degenerative Disc Disease
The lumbar region consists of five vertebrae, each separated by soft discs known as lumbar spinal discs. Each spinal disc consists of a hard outer shell and a soft inner nucleus. Degenerative disc disease is a condition wherein the outer shell gradually weakens, becomes thinner, and develops cracks because of age-related wear and tear, leading to increased friction when the adjacent vertebrae grind against each other. The ALIF procedure removes the damaged spinal discs and fuses the adjacent vertebrae to restore lumbar stability.
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition wherein one of the vertebrae in the lumbar region slips out of place. The vertebra might slip onto the vertebra underneath, leading to increased friction, pain, and numbness. If the vertebra slips too far, it might pinch the surrounding nerve roots that send signals to various parts of the body, leading to radiating pains down the legs and buttocks. The anterior lumbar interbody fusion in Long Island procedure restores the vertebra to the correct position and fuses the two adjacent vertebrae, restoring lumbar stability.
- Performed as a minimally invasive procedure
- Fuses the two adjacent vertebrae to restore lumbar stability
- Removes the damaged or diseased intervertebral disc
- Alleviates the symptoms of nerve compression, such as radiating pain
- Alleviates lower back and leg pain
- Involves minimal downtime and recovery period
For more information on lumbar fusion in Long Island contact our office for a consultation.
ALIF: Your Journey
Dr. Kakoulides performs a thorough assessment before curating a treatment plan. He uses cutting-edge diagnostic tools, such as MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays to visualize the damaged components of the lumbar spine and curate a personalized treatment plan. Most treatments start with conservative solutions, such as rest, physical therapy, and injections. If all conservative options fail, Dr. Kakoulides may recommend the minimally invasive anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) procedure.
Dr. Kakoulides performs the ALIF procedure under general anesthesia. He makes two to three small incisions on the abdomen to insert a series of imaging and surgical tools that remove the diseased lumbar discs. Once the spinal space is restored and the pinched nerves are freed, the neurosurgeon may use bone grafting materials, implants, screws, plates, and cages to fuse the two adjacent vertebrae. The implants provide lower back stability, whereas the bone grafts facilitate natural bone regeneration.
The lumbar fusion in Long Island procedure involves minimal downtime — you can resume most of your daily activities within a few days. Dr. Kakoulides stays with you through every step of the process, and you can also contact him on his personal cell phone anytime.