Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion

Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is open back surgery used to treat patients with degenerative spine conditions, such as spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc in the lumbar (lower) spine. This procedure can be performed as a traditional open back fusion or a minimally invasive stabilization surgery.

The goal of a transforaminal lumbar fusion is removal of a damaged disc in the spine that is compressing a nerve and causing symptoms, such as back pain as well as radiating pain, weakness and tingling in the extremities. Once the disc is removed, the spine must be stabilized. The surgeon will then insert bone graft material into the empty disc space to fuse the surrounding vertebrae together. Depending on the exact nature of the procedure, hardware such as rods and screws will be used to assist the fusion process.

Traditional lumbar fusion versus minimally invasive lumbar stabilization

The primary difference between traditional transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and minimally invasive TLIF surgery is the way the surgeon accesses the spine.

Traditional TLIF requires a large incision that must detach and cut through the nearby muscles in order to reach the spine. This muscle movement and tearing leaves patients susceptible to infection and excessive scar tissue formation, which can hinder a successful fusion.

In contrast, a minimally invasive TLIF at Laser Spine Institute uses a small incision that limits disruption of the muscles near the spine, allowing our patients to have a lower risk of complication^ and a streamlined, outpatient procedure.

Laser Spine Institute

Traditional open back surgery procedures like transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion are associated with a long recovery period, significant scar tissue and the risks inherent with any major surgery, including infection. Our minimally invasive procedures offer patients a safer and effective alternative and a patient satisfaction score of 98.^

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our procedures, our board-certified surgeons+ and our state-of-the-art facilities.

We can help you receive your free MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.