Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) Back Surgery
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is spinal fusion in which the surgeon stabilizes the spinal vertebra. It eliminates movement between the bones of the adjoining vertebra. It may be used to treat degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or recurrent disc herniations. The goal of spinal fusions is to reduce pain and nerve irritation to treat spinal instability or weakness. This procedure is less invasive than standard spinal fusions.
How does TLIF work?
TLIF is a type of spinal fusion that’s done through the back part of the spine. It permanently fuses the bones of the spine. For the fusion, the surgeon uses bone graft from a bone bank or transplanted from the patient’s body. The bone graft and the bone grow together to create a fused or united bone. Although there are different methods for performing TLIF, the goals and outcomes remain the same.
What is the recovery time for TLIF?
This is one of the more invasive spine procedures, but it’s still less invasive than other spinal fusion approaches. Typically, patients remain in the hospital for 2 to 4 days. They begin physical therapy the day after surgery. The patient will limit activities for several weeks. Although return to work varies after 3 to 6 weeks, patients can return to office work. Patients who do heavy physical work may have to wait 12 weeks or longer. Every case is different.