Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
A transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, or TLIF, is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed through the back only. Two small incisions are made on the right and left sides and then dilators are used to expand the surrounding muscle and expose the operative site. Bone is removed to expose the disc space. Small instruments are used to remove the disc material. An appropriate size spacer, containing bone from your pelvis, cadaver or other biologics, is placed between the two vertebrae. Any bony overgrowth or soft tissue compressing on the nerves is removed. Screws and rods are used to stabilize the bones. Intraoperative fluoroscopy, or x-ray, is used throughout the procedure to ensure proper placement of the spacer and hardware.