Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a surgical procedure in which the front part of the lumbar spine is fused from the back. The surgeon makes an incision in the lower back to the side of, or lateral to, the spine. Muscle tissue is retracted to reach the spine. Disc material is removed and a fusion graft is placed into the disc space. The graft is usually bone or a cage combined with bone.
TLIF is most commonly performed for the treatment of painful disc degeneration or disruption. It may also be used in the treatment of other spinal conditions.
Once you have decided to have surgery, the following events take place: