Who Needs Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion Back Surgery?
Doctors often recommend TLIF for patients with lower back pain. TLIF may treat spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, lumbar canal stenosis, or nerve compression. In addition, Degenerative Disc Disease patients who suffer from leg or back pain may benefit from this treatment.
A surgeon performs a TLIF procedure through the back (posterior) part of the spine.
The surgeon will apply a piece of surgical hardware to the spine to encourage fusion. They will insert an interbody fusion spacer into the disc space from one side of the spine. Then they will attach pedicle screws and rods to the back of the vertebra.
In this procedure, the doctor will place a bone graft into the interbody space and alongside the vertebra. Most often, the doctor will take the bone graft from the patient’s pelvis, but sometimes they use substitutes.
After your bone graft heals, your vertebrae fuse and form one long bone.
TLIF patients are usually discharged the same day as their surgical procedure, but they may stay in the hospital longer in some cases. It is common to observe an immediate improvement of some or all of a patient’s symptoms; however, sometimes the improvement is gradual.
The surgeon may provide specific post-operative instructions to ensure a quicker recovery. In general, patients return to their regular activities after surgery within a few weeks.