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.
What Are the Potential Benefits of TLIF?
While transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is a relatively recent approach to spinal fusion, the available research provides promising results and long-term advantages to patients. The following are a few potential benefits of TLIF:
- Direct neurologic decompression: While other fusion approaches rely on indirect decompression, the transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion allows neurologic decompression through direct access to the nerves.
- Foraminal height restoration: TLIF re-establishes disc height through the decompression and fusion of the bone graft and the vertebrae. This restores foraminal height and may help with neurologic decompression.
- Single position/single approach procedure: In many other spinal fusion techniques, the procedure requires two separate incisions in two different positions. However, the TLIF procedure acts through a single posterior approach, often resulting in less time under anesthesia and surgery.
While there are many benefits to the transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion procedure, there are also certain disadvantages. To ensure the procedure fits your condition, speak with an orthopedic specialist. They will provide the information and analysis you need to proceed with TLIF.
How to Prepare for Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
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.
Find a Skilled Board-Certified Orthopedic Specialist at NJ Spine & Orthopedic
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is an excellent option for many suffering from chronic, severe back pain. Our board-certified orthopedic specialists at NJ Spine & Orthopedic have extensive training and schooling to provide you with advanced treatment options. Using our innovative and high-tech equipment, we are committed to doing everything it takes to provide our patients with a pain-free life. The sooner you speak with a medical professional about your condition, the better your chances of recovering and treating your pain.
Fill out our contact form or call (866) 553-0612 to discuss your treatment options today.