Spinal fusion is an advanced procedure that helps surgically correct several spine conditions that range from degenerative problems to fractures, scoliosis, and kyphosis.
Las Vegas spinal fusion specialists perform state-of-the-art procedures to reconstruct your spine and alleviate pain.
An introduction to spinal fusion
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one solid bone with no space between them. Vertebrae are small, interlocking bones of the spine. The main goal of spinal fusion is to fuse the bones together so that they heal into a single bone.
This limits the movements between your vertebrae as well as the stretching of the surrounding muscles, connective tissue, and nerves.
Indications of spinal fusion
Spinal fusion is an effective procedure to relieve symptoms of several spinal problems and disorders such as:
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated disks
- Degenerative disc disease
- Fractured vertebra
- Scoliosis (curvature of the vertebrae)
- Kyphosis (abnormal rounding of the spine)
Spinal fusion procedure
Your spine specialists will initially evaluate your symptoms to identify the cause of your spine problems to design a customized treatment plan that best suits you.
The following spinal procedures are recommended:
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion
- Facet fusion
- Laminectomy with fusion
- Lumbar interbody fusion
- Pedicle screw fixation
- TILF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion)
- Occipitocervical fixation
- Lateral lumbar interbody fusion
Your specialist will plan the following considerations well in advance before the procedure:
- Anesthesia options and dose
- Blood supply planning
- Type of bone graft required
The procedure involves connecting the spine with instrumentations like metal rods and screws to hold them in the desired position. A bone graft material is then used to connect and fuse the vertebrae together. The rods and cable band anchors secure the spine and eliminate movements while the graft fuses and connects your vertebrae together.
The actual spinal fusion procedure takes around 1 to 5 hours.
Recovering from spinal fusion
Recovery post spinal fusion depends on several factors but may range up to 2 to 3 years.
You can expect the following:
- Your doctor will prescribe medications to relieve pain
- You can resume your routine activities in 2 to 3 weeks time
- 6 to 12 weeks following your surgery, you may begin physical therapy
- The fusion process continues to mature and strengthen for up to 3 years
- You will be recommended to continue high-dose vitamin D and calcium supplements for your entire life.
Spinal fusion surgery helps stabilize your back structure and reduce symptoms like pain, numbness, or weakness in the body areas further down. But this procedure isn’t a magic cure. You need to go slow and steady during your recovery period for optimal healing.