TLIF Surgery or Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion is a spinal fusion surgical technique which is performed to stabilize spinal vertebra & the disc or the shock absorber between vertebrae. Lumbar fusion surgery is basically designed to create solid bone in-between adjoining vertebrae & which would eventually eliminate any movement between particular discs. Goal of TLIF surgery is however to reduce nerve irritation & pain.
Reasons for Undergoing TLIF Surgery
- Herniated Disc
- Degenerative Disc Disease
Spinal fusion procedure is generally recommended for conditions like degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis or recurrent cases of herniated discs. However, surgeons can perform lumbar fusion by using several techniques, of which TLIF surgery is a common procedure.
Procedure for Spinal Fusion Using TLIF Surgery
TLIF surgery is commonly performed through the posterior, back portion of spine.
- Surgical hardware is applied to spine in order to help enhance rate of fusion. Rods & pedicle screws are attached to back of vertebra along with an interbody fusion spacer which is inserted into disc space from one side of spine.
- Bone graft is subsequently placed into interbody space, alongside back of vertebra which is to be fused. Bone graft which is obtained from the pelvis area of the patient or from substitutes is also at times used.
- As bone grafts heal, they fuse the vertebra below & above so as to form one long single bone.
Eventually TLIF surgery fuses the front (anterior) & back (posterior) columns of spine through a singular posterior approach.
- Anterior portion of spine is thus stabilized with help of the bone graft & interbody spacer.
- Posterior column is also locked in place with help of rods, pedicle screws & bone graft.
Benefits of TLIF Spinal Fusion Surgery
TLIF spinal fusion surgery provides several advantages over other forms of lumbar fusion surgeries.
- Fusion of bone is enhanced since bone grafts are placed both within the disc space & along the gutters of spine.
- Spacer is inserted into disc space in order to help restore normal height. This is also designed to open up nerve foramina so as to take away pressure from the nerve roots.
- TLIF surgery allows spine surgeons to insert bone grafts & interbody spacer into disc space through a unilateral approach, without having to forcefully retract nerve roots. This may eventually reduce injury & scarring around nerve roots as compared to PLIF surgery.
Like it is with all types of lumbar spine fusion surgeries, patients are required to be healthy so as to undergo TLIF surgery. Patients are also required to quit smoking & may sometimes be required to pre-donate blood which can be used if needed during TLIF surgery.
Indications for TLIF Surgery
Fusion of lumbar spine may be recommended when disabling lower back & leg symptoms do not improve with nonsurgical types of treatment. TLIF surgery is basically designed to eliminate the disc itself as the source of mechanical back pain.
Postoperative Care Following TLIF Surgery
Patients are kept in the hospital for an average of 3 – 5 days following TLIF spinal fusion surgery. Quite a few patients undergoing TLIF surgery may require blood transfusion as well. Physical therapy usually begins the day after TLIF surgery & patients are gradually mobilized to exercise. Quite often spinal braces are also used during the recovery period. TLIF surgery patients are generally discharged when they are on oral pain medications & are kept on limited activity. They will eventually follow up with the surgeon after several weeks of time. They can also return back to office work within 4 – 6 weeks of time, or even longer in case their occupation is heavier & generally involving physical exertion.
Low Cost TLIF Surgery in India
Healthcare sector in India consists of a large pool of highly qualified specialist doctors & surgeons along with an extensive network of accredited hospital facilities spanning the length & breadth of the country. These multispecialty medical institutions are equipped with the latest technologies & state-of-the-art facilities in order to perform the most complex procedures & to deliver outcomes at par with the best in the world. Orthopaedic Surgery India is associated with the best orthopedists & hospitals in the country & well placed to provide a variety of affordable musculoskeletal solutions to bone & joint problems of international patients. Seamless healthcare services offered by Orthopaedic Surgery India cover every aspect of the medical journey undertaken by the international patient.