TLIF stands for Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion. This fusion surgery is a refinement of the PLIF procedure, and treats conditions affecting the lumbar spine.
The TLIF technique is similar to the PLIF approach, but the incision is made from the side of the spinal canal, through a midline incision in the back. The surgery allows the surgeon to fuse two or more of the vertebra together, so as to stop pain caused by the vertebra moving. This approach reduces the amount of surgical muscle dissection and minimizes the nerve manipulation required to access the vertebrae, discs and nerves. The TLIF approach is generally less traumatic to the spine, safer for the nerves, and allows for minimal access and endoscopic techniques to be used for spinal fusion.