Percutaneous Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion

This is a minimally invasive procedure to treat Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). The procedure uses interbody arthrodesis, where the spine is fused, and posterior screw fixation.


What is it?

This procedure is used in the lower back for treatment of pain due to a herniated disc.

How you prepare

The patient will need to complete a physical exam to ensure good health prior to surgery. Blood thinner medicines should be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery. Additionally, quitting smoking and drinking prior to surgery will help provide better results. Before leaving for the procedure, the patient should prepare their home for post-operative care requiring little bending or reaching.

What happens during the process?

The patient lies on their stomach or side and a small nick is made near the flank of the back. A needle is placed through the skin and into the disc, through the intervertebral foramen. The diseased disc is then removed and bone growth material is placed. An implant and screws are used to hold to support the vertebrae during the recovery process.

Risk and Complications

Potential risks include reaction to anesthesia, infection, blood loss, nerve injury, possible re-operation, lack of solid fusion, and continued or increased pain. Medical complications include pneumonia, heart attack, stroke, or blood clots.


All GlobeHealer Site content, including graphics, images, logos, and text, among other materials on the site are for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and you should always contact your physician or qualified health provider for information regarding your health. Information on this site regarding the overview, diagnosis, and treatment of any kind should be looked at, in addition to the advice and information of your health care professional. Do not disregard medical advice or delay seeking treatment or medical advice due to information found on the GlobeHealer site.

If there is even the possibility that you may have a medical emergency, seek treatment, call your doctor, or call your local emergency telephone number immediately. GlobeHealer does not endorse being the first line of communication in case of emergency and does not endorse any specific test, physician, facility, product, procedure, opinion, or other information that is or may be mentioned on this site or affiliated entities. Reliance of any and all information provided by GlobeHealer, its employees, affiliations, others appearing on the Site under the invitation of GlobeHealer, or visitors of the site is solely at your own risk and is not the responsibility of GlobeHealer.

Image Source: