Fortunately, there are ways to address this pain. Orthopedic spine surgeons often recommend anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusions to patients who’ve had to deal with ineffective lumbar vertebrae. If you think this procedure may relieve your pain, you can discuss your options for treatment with the Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery team.
When to Seek Anterior Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion
You should meet with an orthopedic spine surgeon if you’re contending with long-term lumbar pain. During a consultation, you can discuss what forces may make your life more uncomfortable.
In some cases, surgeons may note that your weight or posture has contributed to your pain. However, in others, family genetics or severe injuries may call for immediate surgery. It is most common for orthopedic spine surgeons to recommend anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion for patients who’ve suffered:
- Spinal fractures
- Spinal tumors
- Long-term infections
When your lumbar vertebrae suffer significant damage, they open themselves up to bacteria and can pinch your sensitive nerves. The longer this damage goes unaddressed, the more your pain may build up. Under ideal circumstances, anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion services should help restore your previous quality of life.
What to Expect From Anterior Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion
There are five stages involved in the average anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion. These include:
Creating the Incision
After you receive anesthesia, medical professionals can approach your spinal column from one of your sides. You can discuss which side ahead of time. That said, complications may require professionals to choose one over the other.
Medical professionals can carefully remove a damaged or diseased vertebra from your spine. At the same time, professionals can clean the surface of the surrounding vertebrae, ensuring that the new implant adequately fits against your spine.
If you’ve suffered a serious structural loss at the removal of your disc, we can then bolt together your lumbar vertebrae. This should not increase your discomfort. Instead, it should ensure that your spine remains straight and doesn’t pinch any other nerves.
Bone Graft and Zplate Insertion
With your spine stabilized, we can insert the substitute implant into the altered space. We can also bind your vertebrae with a Zplate, or a metal plate held in place by screws.
Closing the Incision
With all the essential pieces secured, we can close your incision and bind it with stitches. You’ll benefit from a bandage that limits access to the stitches as they heal. As you wake, we can discuss essential incision care with you or an attending guardian.
You should then expect to revisit a medical professional once or twice a month to check up on the success of the implant. Ideally, your lumbar vertebrae should fuse. This will create a stable base for the rest of your spine over time.
Anticipating Your Recovery
In many cases, the steps you take to recover from an essential anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion are as crucial as the procedure itself. It would be best if you prepared to remain in the hospital for supervision for at least three days after the procedure. Afterward, you may be released with recommendations for physical and occupational therapy.
You should not lift anything over five pounds while recovering from your surgery. If you have pets or a child, you should work with your community to meet their daily needs. Over the course of a month, you should be able to bend, twist, and lift heavier objects gently.
Medical professionals may sometimes recommend that you wear a lumbar brace or corset. These aids can help hold your lumbar vertebrae stationary while you do your day-to-day responsibilities.
Learn More With Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery
You have the right to pursue medical assistance if you’ve been suffering from long-term lumbar pain. Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery can help you determine whether or not anterior lumbar corpectomy and fusion is the proper treatment for you. We can schedule a pain consultation at your leisure to begin discussing this and other treatment options available to you.
Our medical team addresses your pain with a compassionate experience. You can contact our office if you’re ready to pursue solutions to your lower back pain. Schedule an appointment through our contact form or by calling (866) 646-5090.