Mark Santman, M.D.

Surgery of the Adult Spine in Round Rock, TX


Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)

The TLIF is a minimally invasive approach to traditional lumbar spine fusions and can be performed for a variety of lumbar spine conditions including disk herniations, lumbar spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and radiculopathy (nerve root injury).

The surgery can be divided into three basic steps:
1. Removal of the disk between the vertebrae,
2. Fusion of vertebrae with a cage and bone graft,
3. Stabilization of the fusion with metal rods and screws.


The surgery is performed through several small skin incisions in the low back.  The damaged disc and bone spurs can be removed from the side to relieve pressure on the nerves. The fusion is obtained by placing bone graft and a cage (hollow spacer) into the disk space between the vertebrae. This cage maintains disc space height and allows bone cells to grow from one vertebra to another. After the discectomy and fusion are completed, metal rods and screws are inserted into the bones to stabilize the spine during the fusion (healing) process. The skin is closed with dissolvable sutures and sterile superglue. Some patient’s may require a back brace after surgery.
Minimally-Invasive TLIF Illustration
We are proud to provide leading-edge spine surgery service to the people of Austin, Round Rock, Georgetown, Cedar Park, Pflugerville, Taylor, Hutto, Lakeway, Elgin, Leander, Liberty Hill, Granger, Llano, Bastrop and the Texas Hill Country.

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