While surgery may intimidate you, it can have great results, and for the right candidate, it can be a relieving procedure for treating back pain.
What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?
Spinal fusion is a type of spine surgery where the surgeon bounds two or more adjacent vertebrae together to create a more singular, stable, solid bone. During this surgery, the spinal surgeon takes a bone graft, typically from the patient’s hip, and places fragments of the small bone in between the vertebrae they’re looking to conjoin. Often, spinal fusion is used for treating the vertebrae found in your lumbar spine since this spinal area is subject to a great deal of wear and tear. However, spinal fusion can treat all levels of your spine.
The binding of the vertebrae and the healing process work close to that of a fractured bone. When you’re in your recovery period, the spinal segment that has to fuse is held together by rods and screws. This system acts as a support and guide for your bones as they grow together over time.
When Spinal Fusion Surgery is Indicated
Spinal fusion permanently attaches two or more spinal vertebrae to reduce pain, correct a deformity, or improve stability. Your surgeon might recommend this procedure to treat:
- Spinal deformities: Spinal fusion can help treat and correct certain spine deformities, such as scoliosis (sideways spine curvature).
- Spinal instability or weakness: If excessive or abnormal movement between two vertebrae, your spine can become unstable. This is a common complication of severe spinal arthritis. Spinal fusion is used to help restore the stability of the spine in such cases.
- Herniated disc: This surgery can be used after a damaged (herniated) disc is removed to stabilize the spine.
The most significant risk of this surgery is continued pain, which means the surgery didn’t eliminate or at least substantially reduce your pain. The biggest reason behind this is that the fused disc was identified improperly as the cause of your pain. Therefore, combining the disc was irrelevant and unnecessary. This is why receiving a proper and accurate diagnosis is so important.
Properly selecting suitable candidates who will do well with a specific type of surgery is the most critical yet challenging part of any low back procedure. It’s particularly crucial to choose suitable candidates for lumbar spine fusion for a couple of reasons:
- Spinal fusion surgery is an extensive procedure and leads to a long healing process (around three to six months and up to 18 months).
- The fusion of the spine will change your back’s biomechanics permanently and is believed to increase the stress on the non-fused lower spinal joints and potentially cause degeneration of the neighboring spine levels.
Spinal fusion surgery is typically not recommended until you’ve tried a minimum of six to 12 months of sufficient non-surgical care.
The Benefits Of Spinal Fusion
Some spinal fusion surgery benefits include:
1. Pain Relief
This is the most apparent advantage of this surgery. Spinal fusion surgery can help offer pain relief for those people who aren’t responding well to non-surgical, conservative care.
This procedure is also recommended for people with unstable spines. Instability of the spine can lead to discomfort and pain, but it can also leave you susceptible to other problems like soft tissue compression or fractures. Spinal fusion can help stabilize and strengthen your spine.
3. Return to Activities
For some individuals with shifted discs, motion can be too painful to engage in the activities they once enjoyed. Spinal fusion surgery can help you get back to many physical activities you weren’t able to because your spine was hurting and help you regain independence.
4. Treats several Conditions
While a spinal fusion procedure isn’t the first treatment approach that surgeons use for many conditions, it can benefit various issues. For instance, it can help address spinal stenosis, vertebral fractures, shift discs, and scoliosis.
5. High Success Rate
The chances of experiencing a successful surgery vary based on the reason behind the fusion being performed in the first place; however, this procedure has a high success rate as a whole.
In the right circumstances, spinal fusion can benefit individuals suffering from disc problems or back pain. But, like with any surgery, the procedure can have certain risks. Therefore, you must consult an experienced spinal surgeon in Florida to discuss all the benefits and potential risks.
Contact Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery in Florida to Consult with our Back and Neck Specialists Today
Traditional orthopedic surgeries can lead to prolonged recovery periods and unappealing scarring. Here at Orthopedic and Laser Spine Surgery, our surgeons employ the most minimally invasive and advanced techniques to treat your pain. This allows you to recover from your procedure quicker with less bruising and scarring.
Contact our office today at (855) 853-6542 or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule your initial consultation. We will examine your spine and come up with a treatment approach that’s customized for you.