What Is A Minimally Invasive TLIF?
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a form of spine surgery in which the lumbar spine is approached through an incision in the back. The name of the procedure is derived from: transforaminal (through the foramen), lumbar (lower back), interbody (implants or bone graft placed between two vertebral bodies) and fusion (spinal stabilization).
The TLIF is a variation of the posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF), in that it provides 360-degree fusion, avoids anterior access and associated complications, decreases manipulation of neural structures, reduces damage to ligamentous elements, minimizes excessive bone removal, enhances biomechanical stability, and provides early mobilization.
Traditional, open spine surgery involves cutting or stripping the muscles from the spine. But today, a TLIF may be performed using minimally invasive spine surgery, a treatment that involves small incisions and muscle dilation, allowing the surgeon to gently separate the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them. A minimally invasive approach preserves the surrounding muscular and vascular function and minimizes scarring.