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Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a type of spinal fusion that is often performed as a minimally-invasive surgical (MIS) procedure. TLIF is employed to restore disc height and permanently fuse damaged or displaced vertebrae in the lower back. Unlike open surgery, The minimally-invasive TLIF approach allows the lumbar spine to be accessed through a small incision in the back with muscle dilation gently separating the muscles surrounding the spine rather than cutting them allowing minimal disruption of muscle and soft tissue. This type of procedure is typically less traumatic and disruptive to the body than traditional surgical approaches and often permits a faster recovery for the patient.

Conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or spondylolisthesis can cause spinal instability and considerable pain. The goal of TLIF is to stabilize the spine by restoring disc height and fusing the vertebrae together, thereby enhancing spinal stability and alleviating nerve compression.

Details of the Procedure

  • The affected vertebra/disc is accessed from the side of the spinal canal through small incisions in the back usually measuring 26mm - about one inch.
  • A small portion of the vertebral bone is removed to allow access to the disc
  • The damaged portion of the disc is removed
  • The empty disc space is filled with bone graft to restore disc height and relieve nerve compression
  • Instrumentation (e.g., screws, rods) is implanted for extra support


includes implants such as rods, plates, screws, interbody devices, cages, and hooks. Implanted instrumentation immediately stabilizes the spine after surgery and helps to maintain proper alignment while fusion occurs.

After Surgery

this minimally-invasive procedure allows many patients to be discharged to home the day after surgery; however, some patients may require a longer hospital stay. Many patients will notice immediate improvement of some or all of their symptoms; however, other symptoms may improve more gradually. It may take a year or longer for the bones to fuse and the spine to heal fully.

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Dear Patients:

Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.

Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.

Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.

Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
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    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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