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TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

Understanding TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion)

Hello and welcome to Dr. Rastegar’s patient education blog! Today, we will be discussing an important spine surgery procedure known as Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion or TLIF. This minimally invasive technique has been revolutionizing the way we treat various spine conditions, and in this article, we will delve deeper into what TLIF is, when it's necessary, and what you can expect from the procedure.

What is TLIF?

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or TLIF, is a surgical procedure designed to treat a range of spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, and spinal instability. The primary goal of TLIF is to relieve pain and restore spinal stability by fusing two or more vertebrae together.

When is TLIF Recommended?

TLIF is considered when conservative treatments such as physical therapy, medications, or injections fail to provide adequate relief from back or leg pain caused by spinal conditions. It may be recommended in cases of:

  1. Degenerative Disc Disease: TLIF can alleviate pain caused by the deterioration of spinal discs, which often leads to nerve compression and discomfort.
  2. Spondylolisthesis: This condition occurs when one vertebra slips forward over another, causing instability and nerve compression. TLIF can help restore alignment and stability.
  3. Spinal Stenosis: TLIF may be recommended to address spinal stenosis, a condition where the spinal canal narrows, leading to pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
  4. Failed Previous Spinal Surgery: In some cases, TLIF is performed when previous spinal surgeries have not provided the desired results, and additional stabilization is needed.

The TLIF Procedure

  1. Preparation: Before the surgery, you'll have a thorough consultation with Dr. Rastegar to discuss your medical history and any questions or concerns you may have. You'll also undergo pre-operative tests.
  2. Anesthesia: During the procedure, you will be under general anesthesia, ensuring you remain comfortable and pain-free throughout.
  3. Access: Dr. Rastegar will make a small incision in your back, creating a path to the affected area of your spine.
  4. Disk Removal: The damaged disc material is carefully removed, relieving pressure on the spinal nerves.
  5. Bone Graft: A bone graft is placed between the vertebrae to encourage fusion. In some cases, a cage or implant may also be used to provide stability.
  6. Fixation: To hold the vertebrae in place while they fuse, screws and rods may be implanted. This hardware ensures stability and proper alignment during the healing process.
  7. Closure: Dr. Rastegar will close the incision with sutures or staples.

Recovery and Rehabilitation

Recovery time can vary from patient to patient, but most individuals can expect to return to light activities within a few weeks and gradually increase their activity level over time. Physical therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation process, helping to improve strength and flexibility.

Benefits of TLIF

  • Pain Relief: TLIF often provides significant relief from back and leg pain, allowing patients to regain their quality of life.
  • Spinal Stability: The procedure restores stability to the spine, preventing further degeneration and reducing the risk of future complications.
  • Minimally Invasive: TLIF is a minimally invasive surgery, resulting in smaller incisions, less pain, and shorter hospital stays compared to traditional open surgeries.

Dr. Rastegar and his team are committed to providing the highest quality of care and support throughout your TLIF journey. If you or a loved one are considering TLIF as a treatment option, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation. Remember, your health and well-being are our top priorities.

For more information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Rastegar, please visit our website or contact our office directly. We are here to guide you towards a pain-free and healthier future.

Farbod Rastegar, MD

Cincinnati Elite Orthopedic & Spine logo
1537 S Breiel Blvd
Middletown, OH 45044
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