Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

The minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a procedure performed to treat back and leg pain caused by degenerative discs and other problems of the spine such as spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and spinal deformity.

The operation is performed under general anaesthetic. Two mini incisions are made in your back and the muscles fibers are separated but preserved to reach the facet joints. An ultrasonic bone cutter is used to remove one or both facet joints (the joint that link the top vertebral body with the bottom) to gain entry into the spinal canal. The affected nerve roots are freed, then the intervertebral disc is removed and a cage containing bone graft, is placed in the space created. Your own bone will, over time, grow into the bone graft.

Screws and rods are also inserted during surgery, which are necessary to aid stability while the fusion takes place. These are inserted above and below the reconstructed disc space. Dr Lee commonly inserts these screws through minimally invasive techniques.


The medical conditions and treatments outlined on this website are of a general nature. Information given is not intended as specific medical advice pertaining to any given patient and should be seen as a broad guide only. You must not rely on the information provided on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other health care professionals. If you have any specific questions about a medical condition, please consult your health care professional or contact Dr Lee’s rooms for a consultation and advice.