Experienced Orthopedic Surgeon Serving San Joaquin County, & San Francisco Bay Area

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

A surgical procedure performed to address conditions affecting the lumbar spine (lower back) such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or disc herniation.
Spine Surgery

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure performed to address conditions affecting the lumbar spine (lower back) such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, or disc herniation. TLIF is aimed at relieving pain, stabilizing the spine, and restoring normal function.

During TLIF, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back, accessing the affected area of the spine. The procedure involves removing the damaged disc or discs, creating space for a bone graft or interbody cage to be inserted into the disc space. This graft or cage promotes fusion between adjacent vertebrae, stabilizing the spine. In some cases, screws and rods may be used to provide additional support and fixation.

One unique aspect of TLIF is that it allows for direct decompression of the nerves by removing any bony structures or tissue causing compression. This helps alleviate leg or back pain, numbness, and weakness associated with nerve compression.

Dr. Morteza Farr -Experience Orthopedic Surgeon serving Northern California

Who Needs TLIF Surgery?

If you are experiencing persistent lower back pain or have been diagnosed with a condition affecting the lumbar spine, TLIF may be a suitable treatment option. It is important to consult with a skilled spine specialist who can evaluate your condition, discuss treatment options, and guide you through the surgical process. With TLIF, you can aim to regain a pain-free and functional spine, allowing you to resume your daily activities and enjoy an improved quality of life.

Benefits of TLIF Surgery

TLIF offers several benefits. By removing the damaged disc and fusing the adjacent vertebrae, the procedure stabilizes the spine, reduces pain, and prevents further degeneration. TLIF also helps to restore disc height, improve spinal alignment, and create a solid fusion, which enhances the long-term success of the surgery. Furthermore, TLIF can decompress nerve roots that may be compressed due to disc herniation or spinal stenosis, relieving associated symptoms such as leg pain, numbness, or weakness.

Recovery time after TLIF varies depending on individual factors and the complexity of the surgery. Most patients spend a few days in the hospital for monitoring and pain management. Following the procedure, a comprehensive rehabilitation program involving physical therapy is typically recommended to promote healing, strengthen the core muscles, and improve mobility.

Risks of Spine Surgery

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with TLIF, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, or failure of fusion. However, these risks are relatively low, and TLIF has a high success rate in providing long-term pain relief and improving overall spine stability and function.

All surgeries have some risks, including:

Recovery from Spine Surgery

Recovery from spine surgery can take several weeks or months. The amount of time it takes to recover from surgery depends on the type of surgery that was performed. During your recovery, you will need to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. This may include taking pain medication, using ice or heat, and resting. You may also need to attend physical therapy sessions.
The risks of spine surgery vary depending on the type of surgery that is being performed. It is important to discuss the risks of surgery with your doctor before you make a decision about whether or not to have surgery.

Choosing an Experienced Spine Surgeon

If you are considering spine surgery, it is important to choose a qualified surgeon. You should ask your doctor for recommendations or search for a surgeon online. When you are interviewing surgeons, be sure to ask about their experience, training, and approach to surgery. You should also feel comfortable with the surgeon and their staff.

Spine surgery can be a life-changing procedure. It is important to choose a qualified surgeon and to understand the risks and benefits of surgery before you make a decision.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind if you are considering spine surgery:

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