Do you have a herniated, damaged or bulging disc? Do you have a pinched nerve? Perhaps you suffer from chronic spinal pain due to disc degeneration. If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure called TLIF, or Transforaminal Lumbar Discectomy with Interbody Fusion.
TLIF’s name is a mouthful, but this procedure is a quick and simple outpatient surgery offered at NJ Spine & Orthopedic. Our surgeons are experts in TLIF procedures — we have been performing them for over 10 years. We have developed and refined a minimally invasive technique that allows for outpatient fusions to be performed on a regular, weekly basis.
These are done through a small incision, under one inch in size, in which doctors go around muscles and surround tissue instead of cutting through them. This technique allows our patients to go home the very same day.
TLIF: A 2-in-1 Treatment
Transforaminal Interbody Lumbar Fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure that permanently fuses the spine’s bones through bone grafting. In this process, material from the bone is collected from either a bone bank or somewhere else on the patient’s body and is used to unite the bone graft and the spine’s vertebrae. The acquired material from the bone graft allows the cells within the vertebrae to grow and form one united bone.
A transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion can benefit conditions like herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, and degenerative disc disease. The procedure relieves pressure from the spinal cord or decompresses the spine and nerves, restabilizing the spine and preventing degeneration at the joints and misalignment of the vertebrae. Not only may this prevent further spine injuries resulting from tension on the spine, but it also relieves chronic pain and immobility.
Transforaminal Lumbar Discectomy: The “TL” in TLIF
Disc-related conditions can be debilitating; especially when they cause chronic spine pain. Transforaminal Lumbar Discectomy is the removal or partial removal of a damaged disc or discs, from a herniated, bulging or degenerated disc.
Interbody Fusion: the “IF” in TLIF
Once the damaged discs have been removed, if a damaged disc is severe enough or has progressed far enough to affect multiple levels of your spine, an interbody fusion to fuse the affected area of your spine will be done.
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There are several advantages to having a TLIF spinal surgery:
Usually, after a TLIF spinal surgery, patients get relief from leg pain within a few days. Back pain also improves after a few weeks. The next symptom to disappear is usually weakness. Your strength may completely return to normal. Numbness and “pins and needles” sensations also significantly improve after surgery.
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For a successful transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion procedure, you must prepare for the surgery. Your orthopedic specialist will provide recommendations and analyze your daily life for any areas where factors may potentially harm the surgery and its results.
Since smoking affects the bones, your doctor will recommend you stop smoking prior to the procedure and after the surgery. You must also communicate any medications and supplements you take to ensure they do not impact your health during the surgery. Your doctor will recommend you stop taking any medications that may thin your blood, such as aspirin. Another important factor is informing your orthopedic specialist of allergies to medications, foods, or latex.
To ensure your health and safety, write down a list of all the medications and supplements you take, as well as your allergies, and provide it to your doctor to analyze. This will help better understand what must be considered before the surgery.
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When conservative treatments have failed, a minimally invasive TLIF may be your next best option. At NJ Spine & Orthopedic, we are dedicated to creating a personalized treatment plan for every patient who sees us, and a quick consultation with one of our expert doctors — who will review your MRI or CT scan — will help you find out if you qualify for a TLIF.
A shorter recovery
Our doctors are highly skilled at both procedures and combine the two into one, quick treatment session. Patients receive a quick, outpatient experience without having to undergo multiple surgeries, resulting in a reduced recovery period.
Take the Next Step Toward Fixing Your Pain
See if you qualify for TLIF treatment by trying our free Candidacy Verification tool before talking with someone at NJSO.
If you’re ready to talk with a spine specialist to help you decide whether TLIF treatment is your best option for lasting pain relief, call us today at (855) 586-2615.
Determine your eligibility with our Candidacy Verification.