A recent, minimally invasive procedure which allows for stabilization of a disk space (typically for discogenic pain across one or two disk spaces) is the “Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion” (TLIF). During this procedure, two small incisions are made, one on either side of the spine, and the screws are placed through wires. In addition, a small synthetic bone spacer is actually placed in the front of the spine despite entering from behind the spine (this saves a need for an incision from the front, at the abdomen, and allows the entire procedure to be done from the back). Using the minimally invasive method, a one-level TLIF can be done in less than one hour, and a two level TLIF can be done in less than two hours, each with minimal blood loss and with most patients going home the next day.
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