Postoperative care following transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) surgery

If you’ve decided to move forward with a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF), you are probably anxious to find relief from your back pain so you can get on with your life. That’s understandable. As you get ready for your upcoming procedure, don’t forget to spend some time preparing for your recovery, which will play a key role in your final outcome.

In the days leading up to your surgery, your surgical team will provide detailed postoperative instructions, which you should review beforehand, make sure you fully understand and follow to the letter. In the meantime, you may find it helpful to consider the following practical tips from Laser Spine Institute on how to streamline your postoperative care, help your body heal and achieve the best possible surgical result.

How to enhance your recovery from spinal fusion surgery

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind about the recovery process that follows a TLIF is that everyone heals at a different pace. Therefore, you should always listen to your body. If you sense that a certain movement or activity might be too much for you, it probably is. In that case, you should take a break and tell your physician.

Some other important things to consider as you recover from a TLIF include:

  • Body mechanics. While you should focus on changing your body position frequently, you’ll also need to plan your moves carefully. Do not lift, carry, push or pull any heavy objects, and take care to avoid bending, twisting or otherwise straining your spine.
  • Exercise. Physical activity can boost your recovery in many ways. Physician-approved stretches and gentle movements, such as those involved in walking and swimming, can promote healing, enhance your blood circulation and stimulate the release of endorphins, which are your body’s feel-good hormones.
  • Work. You’ll likely have to arrange to take several weeks off from work. The exact amount of time you need will depend on the nature of your job; e.g., whether it requires lifting or extended sitting.

Your surgeon will monitor you throughout your recovery. Based on your progress, he or she will clear you to resume specific activities at the appropriate times.

Minimally invasive stabilization

Are you interested in learning about minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery? If so, feel free to contact Laser Spine Institute. Our team can provide a free MRI review* to help you determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive stabilization surgeries, including TLIF. We strive to provide our patients with the education and resources they need to feel confident in their treatment, as well as the rehabilitation process that follows, and we are available to them every step of the way.