PLIF - Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion / TLIF - Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion
Trans-Foraminal Interbody Fusion (TLIF) or Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) are both posterior methods to do a lumbar fusion. Both procedures require a laminotomy (or laminectomy), discectomy with subsequent insertion of a spacer filled with allograft (either cadaver or PEEK) and/or autograft (bone from the patient’s own body) into the disk space. Over time, the 2 lumbar segments fuse and become one segment. Additional instrumentation (usually titanium pedicle screws) is often inserted to help stabilize the segment while the fusion heals.