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Neurosurg Focus. 2006 Mar 15;20(3):E6.

Minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion: indications, technique, and complications.

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Division of Neurosurgery, David Geffen University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.


The authors provide an overview of the minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) procedure including indications, technique, and complications. This novel technique is a method of achieving circumferential lumbar fusion using a unilateral dorsal approach. Minimally invasive TLIF uses a tubular retractor that is inserted via a muscle-dilating exposure, thereby minimizing the approach-related morbidity. This procedure is ideal for refractory mechanical low-back and radicular pain associated with spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, and recurrent disc herniation. The authors' clinical experience and review of the medical literature indicate that TLIF can be effectively and safely performed in a minimally invasive fashion.

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