Aaron J. Buckland, Carlos Leon, Kimberly Ashayeri, Ivan Cheng, J. Alex Thomas, Brett Braly, Brian Kwon, Constance Maglaras, Leon Eisen

May 2022, pp 1 - 8 Supplement Article Read Full Article 10.1007/s00586-022-07227-6

First Online: 12 May 2022


Single position surgery has demonstrated to reduce hospital length of stay, operative times, blood loss, postoperative pain, ileus, and complications. ALIF and LLIF surgeries offer advantages of placing large interbody devices under direct compression and can be performed by a minimally invasive approach in the lateral position. Furthermore, simultaneous access to the anterior and posterior column is possible in the lateral position without the need for patient repositioning. The purpose of this study is to outline the anatomical and technical considerations for performing anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF) in the lateral decubitus position.


Surgical technique and technical considerations for reconstruction of the anterior column in the lateral position by ALIF at the L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.


Topics outlined in this review include: Operating room layout and patient positioning; surgical anatomy and approach; vessel mobilization and retractor placement for L4-5 and L5-S1 lateral ALIF exposure, in addition to comparative technique of disc space preparation, trialing and implant placement compared to the supine ALIF procedure.


Anterior exposure performed in the lateral decubitus position allows safe-, minimally invasive access and implant placement in ALIF. The approach requires less peritoneal and vessel retraction than in a supine position, in addition to allowing simultaneous access to the anterior and posterior columns when performing 360° Anterior–Posterior fusion.

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