TLIF is an alternative procedure to spinal fusion surgery. During this treatment, intervertebral discs are removed in order to fuse two or more vertebrae together with screws and a cage. This is an option for patients with herniated discs, lumbar canal and/or recess stenosis, foraminal stenosis, discogenic lower back pain, facet join pain, or spondylolisthesis.
What is fusion?
A spinal fusion is a surgery designed to join two or more vertebrae by encouraging bone to grow between them.
Why is fusion done?
There are a variety of conditions that can be treated with a fusion. These conditions include vetebral damage or intervertebral disc degeneration due to age, injury, or trauma.
These conditions can lead to:
-Loss of disc height
-Slippage of one vertebra over another
When these event lead to pain or numbness, a fusion can be performed to restore the height of the disc space, decompress the nerves, and immobilize two or more adjacent vertebrae. The goal is to reduce or eliminate pain.
What is a psterior fusion procedure?
In a posterior fusion procedure, Dr. Spencer will operate from the back of your body (posterior approach) and go through the back muscles to reach your spine.
He will remove the diseased disc(s) (discectomy) and replace it with an implant called a spacer to restore the disc height and allow bone to grow between your vertebrae.
In addition, Dr. Spencer may make a second incision and insert screws and rods through the back (posterior approach).