A minimally invasive TLIF is a fusion procedure done through very small incisions typically one inch or less. There are no sutures to remove. This procedure is done all through the back. A small tube is placed in between the muscle fibers to preserve muscles, tendons and ligaments. The surgery is performed through the tube with specialized instruments and microscopes. The facet joint on one side is removed to gain access to the disc. The nerves are freed up to relieve any leg pain. The disc is then carefully removed and a spacer block with bone graft is placed into the disc space. The two vertebrae will grow into the bone graft to create the fusion of the two bones. Next titanium screws are placed into the vertebrae to help stabilize the bones to promote the successful healing of the bones together.
This procedure is minimally invasive and is sutureless.
Typically 1-3 nights in the hospital.
Incisions are typically 1 inch long.
This procedure will cause minimal blood loss with limited tissue disruption.
Up and walking hours after surgery. Return to work approximately 4 weeks after surgery. No twisting, bending or heavy lifting for 3 months after the surgery.
The procedure is approximately 30 – 90 minutes.
Not all patients and procedures are the same. The above is an example of what the typical patient can expect from some minimally invasive procedures.