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Went through a Fusion... Need help understanding what was done

com33647ccom33647 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:55 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello All, New member here posting for a relative who underwent a Spinal fusion. After the surgery two items were noted as done.

Can someone offer clarification/simple photos on each? I've tried researching but its too difficult to understand.

transformational lumar interbody fusion L4/S1
posterior spinal instrumented fusion L5/S1


  • First let me say welcome to spine-health. The words your looking for should be TLIF and PLIF, you will also see the words 360 meaning both anterior and posterior. It sounds to me like they removed the disc and replaced the disc with some type of bone graft either allograft(cadaver) or autograft(your bone), and then added hardware. If it was your bone they either grinded it up bone they removed or took bone from your hip.

    How long ago was your fusion? When do you see your surgeon again? You should ask this question of the surgeon to be sure you have it right and have them explain exactly what they did. While I don't recommend letting any surgeon operate on someone and then finding out what was done. Everyone should always understand the procedures surgeons are doing before. But what is done is done. Was your surgery a emergency from a injury or did it come on over time?

    One thing you should do is stay up on the medicines they have given you. Don't wait for the pain to kick in before taking it, as you will only be playing catch up with the pain.

    The letters I gave you above you can put in the search feature at the top of the page and click articles only to read the doctor written peer reviewed articles. Or you can click forums and you will find many members here whom have gone through the procedure. Also in the back surgery forum you will find lots of post from members whom have gone through this surgery.

    Just thought I would stop by and welcome you to spine-health. Take care and keep us posted on your recovery.
  • Thanks - I didnt have the surgery, just helping during the recovery process. We're giving her meds at a strict schedule 24 hours a day. They didnt take bones from her hips or anything.

    After the surgery she was told that they did "more work". We thought she was going in for a fusion but the report shows two discs.

    I'm guessing she went in for one procedure and they ended up doing another?.

    We meet with the doctor in another week and I guess we will find out more then.

    I will google those phrases and hope to make sense of it all. Thank you
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