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A Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion, or TLIF, is a minimally invasive spinal surgery that is used to treat back pain. It is an alternative to a traditional open lumbar fusion surgery, which is more invasive and requires a longer recovery time. A TLIF involves approaching the spine from the back to remove disc material from the affected vertebrae and fusing the front and back section of the vertebrae together with a bone graft.

There are many different spine conditions that may lead you to needing a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion. The most common spine conditions treated by a TLIF include:

In the past few years, tremendous growth has been seen in the field of spinal fusion. In fact, spinal fusion has become one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States with approximately 352,000 procedures performed in 2019, a 186% increase from just 122,679 procedures performed in 2004.

There are a number of reasons why your Oasis spine specialist may recommend a TLIF procedure. The most common reason for undergoing a TLIF is for lower back pain and/or instability of the spine that does not respond to other non-surgical treatments. If you are experiencing significant low back pain that is not responding to conservative treatments, you may need a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion.


The goal of a spinal fusion is to stabilize an area of the spine that’s become unstable or to ease the pain caused by an injury. You may be a good candidate for Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion if you have instability, weakness, or pain caused by a diagnosed spine condition, and have already exhausted conservative treatment approaches, such as physical therapy, medications, epidural steroid injection, and other less invasive procedures, without seeing results.

When non-surgical treatments are no longer helping to provide stability to the spine, relief from back pain, or both, you may need to consider a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion procedure. This minimally invasive procedure improves stability in the spinal column and provides relief from back pain.

Additional factors that an Oasis spine specialist will assess in determining if you are a candidate for a Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion procedure commonly include:

  • Your medical history
  • Your specific spine diagnosis
  • The progression of your spine condition
  • Medical imaging such as an MRI or x-ray
  • At Oasis Orthopedic & Spine, we believe you deserve to be able to return to your normal activity level without pain or other troublesome symptoms. If your spine condition is worsening or not responding to non-surgical, conservative treatments, find out if you qualify for Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with our candidacy check tool below.

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