The TLIF Experts
A Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) increases spinal stability and decreases pain by removing pressure from spinal nerves and stabilizing spinal weaknesses resulting from deformity, degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, prior failed back surgeries, or other spine-weakening conditions.
Physicians Who Perform TLIF
North American Spine partner physicians are board-certified, minimally invasive specialists in TLIF and other related procedures. They are among the best in the field, and many have served as teachers of the next generation of minimally invasive specialists.
Unlike at most practices, North American Spine partner physicians may collaborate on a complex procedure to ensure that all the required skill and knowledge is brought to the case. But perhaps the most telling fact of all is this: 97% of patients say they would recommend their doctor to a friend.
I had a bulging disc, sciatica, and annular tear damage. After my procedure, I'm back working at the fire station, playing golf, running, and doing anything and everything. PAIN FREE.
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Benefits of the TLIF
TLIF is a surgical technique used to remove a damaged disc and fill the resulting gap with material called a bone graft. This graft fuses to existing bone in your spinal column and helps keep your spine structurally sound and stable. Done minimally invasively, the procedure can minimize healing time and risk of infection. Additionally, because your surgeon will be working with bone graft material across two sides of the spine, TLIF enhances fusion and growth of the patient’s own bone — and doesn’t require the surgeon to retract the roots of the nerves to the same extent as some other procedures.
Details of the TLIF
During a TLIF, your surgeon will access your spine from the back side, through a small opening in the spine called a foramen. The surgeon will use advanced surgical instruments and microscopes to remove any diseased structures, decompressing impinged nerves. Then, a spacer is inserted between the adjoining vertebrae. The spacer will add stability and will induce the body to grow more bone in the region, adding further stability. Finally, your surgeon will secure the vertebrae with specialized hardware and may place more bone grafts across the backs of the affected vertebrae.
Preparing for the TLIF
Before pursuing a TLIF, prospective patients should have tried conservative methods, such as physical therapy, chiropractic, and spinal injections. If those methods have not produced meaningful relief, you may be a candidate for a North American Spine procedure.
TLIF is typically an inpatient procedure, meaning patients will stay 1-3 nights in the surgery center. Recovery, however, is quite rapid in comparison to traditional open back surgery. Patients will be walking the same day of surgery and performing light activity within a few weeks. More in-depth, customized recovery guidelines will be provided by your North American Spine physician. The vast majority of patients report a significant and lasting reduction of their pre-op symptoms.
While every surgery carries some risk of injury or infection, complications are rare. Your physician will counsel you on these risks prior to the procedure.