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I'm trying to get some input from anyone who has had the TLIF fusion done. Both good and not so good results?
I have been told that the incision will be off to the side of the spine, just one side? How would you get the screws and rod on the other side of the lumbar spine?


  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 11/04/2012 - 5:32 PM

    There are lots of TLIF stories here. Can I suggest you search for 'TLIF'? Also read up on previous posts and FAQ and site articles.

    Just bare in mind that most successful ones are never discussed here and after success a lot of people don't come back or post. They are too busy getting back into their previous / new life.

    All the best.
  • NomoreDisc:

    I had this fusion (L4-S1) in Jan 2011. For about 2 months my outcome was successful, but then I developed a new and different type of pain. We are continuing to treat the pain while I wear a bone growth stimulator. Images indicate a fusion (technically) although it is very limited in surface area.

    I have two scars because the original attempt was to accomplish a minimally invasive surgery. When the surgeon actually saw my spine he realized that he could not perform that type of procedure. So, he sewed me up and called my wife for permission to perform a TLIF. She granted permission and he then cut me open a second time and performed the fusion.

    My second scar is longer (6 inches maybe) and is off to the side of my spine. You would be surprised just how elastic soft tissue is, and that is why they can gain access from just one, long incision. Incidentally, if you google enough you will find video's online that show the procedure. Don't watch it if you are squeamish as it might discourage you from ANY surgery.

    What DaveFusion said is absolutely correct. Most of the successful fusion candidates no longer post on this site, so the comments may appear to be all negative. And, there is a ton of information on this site. Read it all. An informed patient is a better patient.

    Good luck.

  • I originally thought I had a PLIF but I was wrong. Must be the meds. I had a prior min invasive procedure 3 years prior with failed fusion. They used the same incision and mine seemed to be just next to spine but you really wouldn't know. I can't say I know what the big difference was but I know they say it is to gain better access to the front and back. They put in 2 rods, 4 screws and spacers. I am 5 weeks out and doing pretty good. Have my days. My reasoning for surgery is much improved. Have a few other hiccups but that is to be expected. Good Luck
    2007 ACDF C6 - C7
    2010 Aspen Cage L4,L5 for Grade 2 Spondo and spinal stenosis
    2011 Non-Union C6-C7, Revision Posterior fusion with hardware.
    2012 Failed fusion of L4, L5. Revision L4, L5 Fusion with hardware.
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