How soon can I expect relief from my back and leg pain with a spinal fusion? I'm having one level fused (L45) using the ALIF method.
Anterior lumbar interbody fusion or ALIF is used most often when patients have a single degenerative disc. The damaged disc is removed. Bone graft with or without implanted cages is used to fuse the two vertebrae together. Some patients are surprised that they aren't pain free right away. Most patients obtain pain relief in the first six weeks. They continue to get better during the first six months. Studies show a success rate for ALIF between 73 and 86 percent. Success is defined as a solid fusion with pain relief. It doesn't always mean the patient got complete pain reduction.