Results of Minimally Invasive TLIFSpinal fusion works best if the vertebrae are supported with screws and a device called a cage. Surgeons are trying to find the best approach for the operation. There are problems operating from the front or back of the patient. In this study, researchers use a transforaminal approach.
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) places the hardware from the side rather than from the front or back. In this study a small incision was made. This method makes the operation minimally invasive.
The small opening was three to four centimeters to the side of the spinal column. The facet joint was removed. The cage and screws were inserted (one screw from each side). Special X-rays were used to guide the surgeon.
Patients had relief from pain down the leg right after the operation. Back pain was reduced in most cases. The small incision reduced muscle injury and soft tissue damage. There was also less blood loss during the operation.
The authors support the use of a minimally invasive TLIF over the more standard TLIF with a larger incision. Long-term results must be acceptable before adopting this method.
Jee-Soo Jang, M.D. and Sang-Ho Lee, M.D. Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Ipsilateral Pedicle Screw and Contralateral Facet Screw Fixation. In Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. September 2005. Vol. 3. Number 3. Pp. 218-223.
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