(TLIF) Trans. Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) is an operation where the lumbar spine is approached from the side through an incision in the back. A portion of bone and disc are removed from the spine and replaced with an implant that is inserted into the disc space. Titanium or stainless steel screws and rods are inserted into the spine to ensure the stability of the entire construct.

Patients suffering from back and/or leg pain are potential candidates for the TLIF procedure. The causes of the pain may range from a natural degeneration of the disc space to some type of traumatic event.

The operation is performed with the patient laying on his or her stomach. An incision is made in the patient’s back to allow the surgeon access to the spine. Once the spine is in view, the surgeon removes a portion of bone from the appropriate areas of the spine, allowing for access to the disc space. The surgeon then removes disc material and inserts an implant into the disc space. The surgeon will also insert titanium or stainless steel implants into the spine to help restore the spine back to its normal anatomic condition.

Patients will normally stay in the hospital for three to five days after surgery, depending on each individual patient and his or her surgeon’s post-operative surgical plan. Patients are usually up and walking by the end of the first day after surgery. Tailored recovery and exercise plans are provided to help patients return to normal life as soon as possible.