Lower back fusion procedures — conditions treated

By Michael Perry, M.D.

A lower back fusion procedure may be recommended to treat severe degenerative conditions in the lumbar spine when months of conservative treatment have proven ineffective.

If your doctor is recommending a fusion surgery, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure at Laser Spine Institute. This procedure involves a small incision made in the lower back, through which tiny surgical tools are inserted. Once the surgeon has accessed the spine, nerves are decompressed and a damaged spinal disc is fully removed. Bone graft material is then implanted into the empty disc space to fuse the surrounding vertebrae and stabilize the spine. Because of the muscle-sparing techniques used during this procedure, our patients can benefit from less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time^ compared to traditional open back surgery.

Commonly treated conditions

A TLIF procedure is often used to treat patients with the following spine conditions:

  • Spondylolisthesis — where one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra beneath it
  • Degenerative disc disease — the accelerated breakdown of the spinal discs; often leads to collapsed, bulging and herniated discs
  • Recurrent herniated disc — recurrence of a herniated disc, which arises at least six months after a previous spine surgery
  • Sciatica — the lower back pain, shooting leg pain, and leg numbness, weakness, and tingling associated with compression of the sciatic nerve
  • Spinal stenosis — narrowing of the spinal canal, which can lead to spinal cord compression
  • Scoliosis — abnormal curvature of the spine
  • Spine fractures — usually caused by high-impact trauma, such as a car crash or sports accident, or as a result of osteoporosis

Laser Spine Institute

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive stabilization procedures — such as TLIF — and minimally invasive decompression procedures to treat a wide range of degenerative spine conditions. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and patients are often up and walking within hours of surgery.^

If you have exhausted your conservative treatment options and your physician recommends fusion surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team can help you receive a no-cost review of your most recent MRI report or CT scan* to determine whether you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.