Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or TLIF, is spinal fusion surgery for back conditions during which a portion of bone and disc are removed from the spine and replaced with an implant that is inserted into the disc space. Patients who suffer from back and/or leg pain either as a result of natural degeneration of the disc space or due to a traumatic event are candidates for this procedure.

Dr. Siddiqi will perform a diagnostic evaluation to determine if TLIF surgery will help improve your back pain.

The procedure is performed through an incision that is made in the posterior, or back, portion of the spine. To begin, Dr. Siddiqi will first place screws into the vertebra and remove the facet joints to expose the disc space. Once he enters the disc space, he can remove the disc material.
A bone graft is required for this procedure, and is often obtained from the patient's hip. A spacer is then filled with bone graft and placed into the disc space so that the disc height is maintained. Additional bone is placed in the side gutters of the vertebra and the disc space. Titanium or stainless steel screws and rods are inserted into the spine to ensure the stability of the entire construct.

After TLIF surgery
After TLIF spinal fusion surgery, patients will usually stay in the hospital for three to five days to begin the recovery process. In some cases, a blood transfusion may be required.

Physical therapy is started the day after surgery, and Dr. Siddiqi may require some patents to wear a spinal brace. Once patients are released from the hospital, they will continue with oral pain medication and must limit their physical activity. Patients can usually return to work in four to six weeks, depending on the job demands. Dr. Siddiqi's office will set up a follow-up appointment for a few weeks after your surgery.