Mini-open Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

  • Amir M. Abtahi
  • Douglas G. Orndorff
  • Jocelyn M. Zemach
  • Jim A. YoussefEmail author


Since the 1930s, the anterior surgical approach to the lumbar spine has been used for the surgical treatment of symptomatic lumbar spine pathology. A variation on the standard open technique, termed the mini-open anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) approach, results in shorter surgical times, faster recovery, and similar fusion rates than traditional anterior approaches do. A mini-open ALIF approach allows for placement of an interbody graft, application of anterior instrumentation, and re-creation of lumbar lordosis, without disrupting the posterior lumbar musculature. Indications for mini-open ALIF surgery include deformity, pseudarthrosis, symptomatic degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, foraminal stenosis, and infection. As with all surgical procedures, patient selection is important for clinical success. Relative contraindications include prior abdominal surgery and retroperitoneal fibrosis. This chapter addresses the surgical technique, common intraoperative and postoperative complications, postoperative care, and pearls and pitfalls of the mini-open approach for anterior lumbar interbody fusion.


Anterior lumbar interbody fusion Minimally invasive Anterior instrumentation Mini-open approach Anterior approach 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amir M. Abtahi
    • 1
  • Douglas G. Orndorff
    • 1
  • Jocelyn M. Zemach
    • 1
  • Jim A. Youssef
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Spine Colorado PCDurangoUSA

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