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ALIF - Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Spinal fusion is a widely criticized, but effective procedure that has been practiced since the 1920s when it was introduced into the medical field. Spinal fusion is typically a procedure for the management of lumbar degenerative disc disease. Specifically, a procedure called anterior lumbar fusion has been under constant scrutiny since its introduction, and medical experts have been developing its basic, acute, and effective methods for decades.

Multiple fixation devices and implements have been used to assist in lumbar interbody fusion. Some examples of these fixations include fibular struts, iliac struts, synthetic metal, and femoral rings and dowel. Prior to the 1950,s most anterior lumbar approaches were extensive transperitoneal exposures. These were relative to the membrane lining the walls of the abdominal and pelvic cavities. Furthermore, spinal treatments have undergone parallel evolutionary changes.

In 1957, Southwick and Robinson introduced the retroperitoneal approach, which essentially means “behind the peritoneum”, in comparison to transperitoneal exposures, or approaches “through the peritoneum.” Transperitoneal exposures require incision of both the anterior and posterior peritoneum. Conversely, retroperitoneal exposures maintain the integrity of the peritoneum, and approach the spinal column laterally, behind the bowel and peritoneal contents. The advantage and benefits of this approach is that is causes less post-operative bowel problems.

Minimally invasive procedures have been the results of evolutionary change in technique, technology, and available medicine. Two of these approaches are the endoscopic and laparoscopic methods. Minimally invasive approaches are generally dependent on the severity of the disease or disorder, and also are affected by the part of the body where the pain is occurring.. Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) may be useful in the treatment of chronic lower back pain. The cause of this pain is often difficult to diagnose and physicians tend to put the patient through extensive physical exams in order to diagnose the disorder properly. Upon finishing the physical exams, which may include X-rays and MRIs, a physician can typically declare what is causing the back pain. Typically, the association of lower back pain can be cause by degenerative disc disease (DDD), spondylolysis, spondylolisthesis, or iatrogenic segmental instability.

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From chiropractors to pain management specialists to expert spine surgeons, Become Pain Free can help get rid of your pain so you can get your life back on track. To learn more about how we can help, fill out the form on the right or call 888-373-3720. We'll connect you with the right specialist so you can stop living in pain.Call Become Pain Free... your pain solution.

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Posture and Neck Pain

Chronic neck pain is a miserable experience. Although some cases of neck pain are caused by an injury, many are simply due to poor posture. Poor posture stresses the muscles of the neck and can cause muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. Over time, the stresses of poor posture on the neck can cause degenerative diseases to develop in the discs and bones of the neck. Forward head A very commonly seen posture that puts a lot of strain on the neck is the forward head. The individual habitually thrusts the head forward, carrying it out in front of the shoulders. In this position, the weight of the head is constantly pulling on the spine and the shoulders. Sitting for hours hunched over a desk or a computer is a common cause of forward head. Many people with this habitual forward head carriage suffer from sore shoulders as well as a sore neck. Over time, the vertebrae at the base of the neck (C5 and C6) can develop painful degenerative conditions due to the constant weight of the head pulling on them in the forward head posture. Correct posture A correct posture is one that keeps the spine in alignment. Some people call it a neutral or balanced posture. One exercise to encourage a neutral posture is to focus on opening the chest wide as you try to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Once your chest is open, bring your head into alignment. Think of a string pulling up the top of your head and lengthening the neck. When you do this, your chin will tuck in and your head will naturally shift into proper alignment with your spine. Do the open chest/ string exercise multiple times a day. Other exercises to build better posture are head nods and chin tucks. To do a head nod, slowly nod your head slightly up and down without moving your neck. To do chin tucks, tip your nose down toward the ground and move the top of your head backwards. Repeat head nods and chin tucks several times a day. These exercises strengthen the muscles on the front of the neck. Individuals with habitual forward head posture usually have very weak muscles in the front of the neck. If you've worked hard at correcting your posture and you are still suffering from neck pain, why not give us a call?

Note: The information on this Web site is provided as general health guidelines and may not be applicable to your particular health condition. Your individual health status and any required medical treatments can only be properly addressed by a professional healthcare provider of your choice. Remember: There is no adequate substitution for a personal consultation with your physician. Neither BPF Specialty Hospital, or any of their affiliates, nor any contributors shall have any liability for the content or any errors or omissions in the information provided by this Web site.