People with serious pain in their lower backs along their lumbar spine often find that fusion surgery may their best option. The minimally invasive TLIF (Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion) is one of the best, most advanced options for spinal fusion.
The goal of the TLIF is to provide relief from the pain associated with a number of lower back problems such as spondylolisthesis and disc degeneration, which have not responded to non-surgical treatments.
During the minimally invasive spinal fusion procedure, the surgeon makes an incision and removes the damaged disc. S/he then places a bone graft spacer or implant between the two vertebrae to restore height and relieve nerve pinching. As your body begins to heal, new bone grows around the graft or implant, fusing the two vertebrae into one solid piece of bone.
The TLIF procedure has traditionally been performed as what is called an “open” technique, which required making a larger incision as well as the cutting and retracting of muscle and tissue. Although effective, the traditional TLIF requires a long recovery period of several weeks or months.
BSSNY surgeons, however, specializes in performing a minimally invasive TLIF. The surgeon first makes a small incision off the middle of your lower back and inserts a small tube through the incision until it “rests” on the spine. Using special surgical instruments, s/he then performs the entire TLIF procedure through the tube.
By working through the small tube instead of a traditional “open” incision, we are able to significantly reduce the amount of muscle and tissue that needs to be cut or disrupted, as well as the amount of blood loss. This typically translates to a shorter hospital stay and faster patient recovery times.