Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) is typically used to remove a degenerative disc and relieve pressure on nerve roots in the lumbar spine.
Using the minimally invasive procedure involves a small incision in the back. Using a portable X-ray machine, the surgeon locates the diseased vertebral levels. Making the smallest incision possible, the surgeon uses a combination of dilators and tubular retractors to access the vertebra and remove the degenerative disc. An implant with bone graft is placed in the empty space, this realigns the vertebral bones and relieves pressure on the nerve roots.
Advantages of the minimally invasive TLIF procedure over traditional spine surgery include smaller incision and less disruption to muscle tissue. This procedure is generally performed in an outpatient setting or 23 hour stay. Most patients can return to normal activity within 2-3 weeks following surgery.