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How is an anterior lumbar interbody fusion different from a posterior lumbar ?

4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine
2 doctors agree

In brief: The approach

Anterior lumbar fusions utilize an approach through the abdomen called a retro peritoneal approach.
This approach actually never enters the cavity containing the intestines, rather goes around it. This approach will allow access to the lumbar spine for fusion. The approach carries risks because the large veins and arteries need to be moved.

In brief: The approach

Anterior lumbar fusions utilize an approach through the abdomen called a retro peritoneal approach.
This approach actually never enters the cavity containing the intestines, rather goes around it. This approach will allow access to the lumbar spine for fusion. The approach carries risks because the large veins and arteries need to be moved.
Dr. Greg Khounganian
Dr. Greg Khounganian
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Dr. Thomas Dowling
Orthopedic Surgery - Spine

In brief: Primarily by the

Approach: front v back to disc space.
The implants are larger for front approach & these can be done as a stand alone where posterior ones are smaller and usually supplemented by spinal instrumentation & there is a decompression of nerve tissue during the posterior approach directly. This is indirect from anterior approach by re-establishing the disc height & sometimes with instrumentation.

In brief: Primarily by the

Approach: front v back to disc space.
The implants are larger for front approach & these can be done as a stand alone where posterior ones are smaller and usually supplemented by spinal instrumentation & there is a decompression of nerve tissue during the posterior approach directly. This is indirect from anterior approach by re-establishing the disc height & sometimes with instrumentation.
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Dr. Thomas Dowling
Thank
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