The Ins and Outs of Spinal Fusion Surgery

Have you been told by your spine expert that spinal fusion surgery is right for you? If you have been living with spine pain, spinal fusion surgery may be a great option for reducing or possibly eliminating your spine pain once and for all. In fact, it can be performed on its own or in combination with other spine surgeries. However, before you make the decision to undergo spinal fusion surgery, it is important to know exactly what the procedure entails.

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure used to join two or more vertebrae together. In many cases, it is used as a method to correct the movement between two vertebrae that are rubbing against each other and resulting in pain. During spinal fusion surgery, the two trouble vertebrae are fused together, eliminating any movement between them. In many cases, spinal fusion surgery can lead to a long-term pain resolution for the right candidate.

What Conditions Does Spinal Fusion Surgery Treat?

A spinal fusion can be used to treat a number of spine conditions, such as the conditions below. If you are suffering from one of these conditions and believe a spinal fusion may be right for you, speak with a spine expert today.

  • Unstable or weak spine
  • Spinal fractures
  • Deformities
  • Lumbar Spondylolisthesis
  • Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Scoliosis

What Does a Spinal Fusion Involve?

When it comes to a spinal fusion, there are several approaches your spine surgeon may take to provide relief. However, most spinal fusion procedures involve a bone graft being applied to the affected area of the spine to form a bridge between the vertebrae and encourage new bone growth. Metal implants may be used to hold the vertebrae together until the new bones have formed. The procedure usually lasts several hours and when performed correctly, should eliminate pain immediately.

 

What are the Risks involved with Spinal Fusion Surgery?

As with any surgery, there are always risks involved. Before undergoing surgery, it is always important to understand the risks. The risks for spinal fusion surgery include:

  • Damage to the spinal nerve resulting in weakness, loss of sensation, pain, or problem with the bowels and bladder. However, we use neuromonitoring during all fusion surgeries to minimize this risk.
  • Infection of the vertebral bones or wound
  • Increased wear and tear on nearby vertebra

Learn More

If you would like to learn more about Spinal Fusion Surgery, we invite you to explore Pacific Spine Specialists. Dr. Timothy Keenen specializes in minimally invasive procedures, such as spinal fusions, and would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your condition. Take advantage of our free MRI review and contact us today to schedule your appointment with us.