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ANTERIOR LUMBAR INTERBODY FUSION (ALIF)

A diseased disc can be replaced with a bone spacer or implant to obtain a lumbar fusion. A specialized surgical approach through a frontal abdominal incision (3cm or more) is performed to expose the anterior spine. A vascular surgeon will perform the exposure with gentle dissection and retraction of the blood vessels in the front of the spine.

A spine surgeon trained in the anterior surgery then excises the disease disc and prepares the vertebral end plates for fusion. The diseased disc is then replaced with a spacer (bone wedge, metallic spacer, cage or other synthetic material). Bone graft is added to the spacer to initiate bone growth usually achieving fusion within 3 months. Back brace is usually recommended, and the patient is restricted from bending or twisting and only light lifting. Physical therapy usually is initiated at 3 months. Return to normal function and activity within 3-6 months.

LUMBAR LAMINECTOMY

A position lumbar laminectomy or decompression relieves pressure on spinal nerves by removing a portion of the rooftop of the vertebral body.

An incision is made in the midline of the lower back, approximately 3 cm or more in length depending on the number of levels. Disc degeneration, arthritis (bone spurs) or thickened ligaments can cause compression of the spinal nerves. Portions of the lamina and the bone spurs are removed with spinal instruments with the use of microscope.

Patients leave the hospital 1-2 days after surgery. In one to two weeks, the incisional pain is gone. Patients can experience improvement with walking, ability and reduction of leg numbness or weakness by six to eight weeks.

Patient Testimonials

"I had a Cervical Spine Surgery February 2017 and Lumbar Spine Surgery November 2017. Both Surgeries were a Success. I feel so much better....No More Pain! Thank You, Dr. Kropf... You're the BEST!"

-Martha B

"Dr. Kropf is literally a miracle worker. I have suffered with horrible pain for years from herniation at L4/5 & L5/S1. Had a prior micro-surgery from another surgeon which did not work. Dr. Kropf performed a double fusion through the stomach and back. Had my 7 month follow up yesterday and got a clean bill of health. Honestly, after about 5 months I was totally pain free. He completely nailed it!!! I also just referred one of my good friends who also feel in love with Dr.Kropf. I had interviewed 7 surgeons with my wife and we both agreed that there was no one better to do my surgery. This was not a fun thing to go through, but so worth it. Katie, Sakura, and Trisha also were awesome to deal with and super responsive."

-Lee E

"First off, I believe Dr. Kropf helped save my life! It's been 6 months since I had my surgery and my spine has fused successfully! Dr. Kropf and his amazing staff treated me like a human being instead of just a patient! The support and encouragement they gave me throughout the few years I have been going is incomparable! Thank you to all those who helped me during my recovery, especially Sakura, and Trisha! You are all Angels on Earth! God Bless you!"

-Stefifi A

"This man gave me my life back! I wouldn't be working today with him as a spine nurse ! I had a cervical fusion & artificial disc replacement for my lower back ! He's caring & compassionate & so is his staff ! He saved my husbands life also by ordering the right tests & got him to another specialist , I feel so blessed to have him! "

-Anastacia H

“Dr. Kropf is a very knowledgeable and experienced surgeon. He is just as straight forward and honest as I remember him from 19 years ago. He did an amazing job with my back then, that I flew across the country to discuss the second surgery with him!”