View Full Version : Surgical description.

07-26-2006, 10:55 AM
I recently scheduled surgery to extend my fusion from L3-S1. Both the doctor and I were rushed because he was running late. I didn't ask all my questions that day and decided to call later.

My message was returned by the PA, while I was driving so I ended up more confused than when I started. I asked again about having both anterior and posterier procedures because I only got one surgery date and he said that it was a side procedure--not anterior. The incision being just under my ribs. My current scar is on my left side, under my rib cage. I always called that anterior.

My side isn't really "anterior" and descriptions that I have read about ALIF, TLIF, and PLIF don't say where the incision is. I just wanted to get a better idea of what he is talking about before I call back.


07-26-2006, 11:49 AM
You and your doc sound like your talking the same language, just using differant discriptions :confused:

My anterior is really more on the "side". It starts just above my hip bone and moves up and toward the side of my rib cage and then slightly toward the back. It is like a very streched out letter "C". I had my surgery in '02 and it is now faded out to a very pale pink line that is really almost non existant

07-26-2006, 11:28 PM

Where your incision is is based on which vertebrae need to be accessed, but most anterior incisions are on the side. Anterior refers to operating on the front of the spine (which is most easily accessed from between the ribs). ALIF, TLIF, and PLIF refer to accessing the front of the spine from a posterior incision or the back of the spine from an anterior incision.


07-27-2006, 08:49 AM
That helps. Next time I will insist to talk with the doctor.