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Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

Lower back pain is a relatively common problem and it can occur for any number of different reasons, including difficulties with the muscles in the area. When the problem is associated with the vertebrae, however, or with the intervertebral disc, a number of treatment options may be considered by your physician. For some individuals, a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion surgery is the option that is considered. It can help to stabilize the spine and reduce some of the problems that are associated with your condition.

As the name of the surgery would suggest, the area that is affected is the lumbar area, which is the lower back. The surgery itself is a fusion surgery, which fuses the vertebrae that are adjacent to each other together so that they move as a single body. This may be used on two vertebrae or it may be used on multiple vertebrae as well. By allowing the bones to fuse together and keeping them from moving independently of each other, it can help to reduce the problems you are experiencing.


A number of different conditions may result in the use of this type of surgery. Some of the common reasons why it is considered include degenerative disc disease, an unstable spine or any type of disruption in the intervertebral disc. When you have an unstable spine, for example, the vertebrae may slip back and forth against each other and it can cause pain because of the pressure is being applied to the nerve root. Other problems with the intervertebral disc, including internal disc disruption and degeneration can also cause significant pain as well because the nerve root is affected.

During this procedure, the disc that is affected is going to be removed and something is going to be put into its place. Some of the options include a small bone wedge that is taken from your own hip or from a bone bank donor. Another option that is sometimes considered is a titanium cage that is known as a PEEK cage. In any case, it is put in the area to help separate the vertebrae once the disc has been removed. The vertebrae will then grow and the bone will become one single unit to perform the ultimate fusion.

This type of surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the spinal column is accessed through the back. After removing the back of the spinal column, known as the lamia, the surgery will take place with the disc being removed and the bones being fused together. It is important to recognize that major surgery is being gone when this procedure is considered, so you should discuss the risks and possible outcome scenarios with your