Extreme Lumbar Interbody Fusion (XLIF) and Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

The XLIF and ALIF procedures use fusion of two or more vertebrae to stabilize the spine.

XLIF and ALIF are types of interbody fusion, which is a procedure where the disc in the front of the spine is removed and replaced with an implant containing a bone graft. The implant stabilizes the spine during healing and the bone graft fuses the vertebrae together through the disc space.


During an XLIF, Dr. Hyder accesses the damaged area of the spine from the side rather than from the front or the back. Using minimally invasive surgical techniques (MIS), a tube is inserted through the incision. The tube allows him to perform the procedure while sparing much of the muscle. This technique minimizes blood loss, discomfort, and scarring while improving recovery times. In certain patients it can be performed in an outpatient setting. Watch a video on how XLIF works.


For an ALIF, the surgical approach is anterior, or from the front. An ALIF is reserved for large spondylolisthesis, where reduction is better achieved from an anterior approach. Like in an XLIF, a tube is inserted to give Dr. Hyder access to the damaged disc. In certain patients, an ALIF procedure can be performed in an outpatient setting. Watch a video on how ALIF works.

If you are scheduled for an XLIF or ALIF procedure or are caring for a patient who is, download pre-operative and post-operative forms and instructions.