Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion

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This is a report of 85 patients who underwent anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) for treatment of painful disc disruption (PDD) or symptomatic pseudarthrosis. The fusion rate was 80% by disc. The pseudarthrosis rate increased from 16% at L5-S1 to 21% and 31% at L4-5 and L3-4, respectively. There was a significant increase in pseudarthrosis rate in patients who smoked more than one pack per day. There was no difference in the fusion rate whether autogenous or cadaveric iliac crest graft or dowel versus tricortical block graft was used. Sixty-eight percent of patients were “able to work” after ALIF. The complication rate was low and retrograde ejaculation occurred in only one patient.

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