A Spinal Fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently connects two or more of the small bones in the spine known as vertebrae. This process eliminates motion between the two vertebrae when they heal as one solid bone. The techniques used in a spinal fusion are designed to mimic the healing of broken bones. There are several reasons that your surgeon may recommend a spinal fusion, and it’s important to understand what it is and the process.
When Would a Spinal Fusion Be Done?
A spinal fusion procedure may be used to correct many different problems within the spine. Some conditions that can be treated with a spinal fusion procedure include scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, fractures, and more. Because vertebrae are such small bones, the abnormal movement or excessive motion of those bones can lead to arthritis. A spinal fusion can correct the motion of those bones and improve spinal stability. This surgical procedure may also be performed after a herniated disc removal, as it can restore a patient’s stability in their spine. Your physician will typically only recommend spinal surgery if they can pinpoint the exact source of the pain using x-rays, MRI or CT scans.
What Can I Expect with a Spinal Fusion?
A spinal fusion is performed under general anesthesia and surgeons can use a variety of techniques to perform the procedure. The technique used will depend on the location of the fusion, the reason for the surgery, and your body shape. To gain access to the spot of the fusion, your surgeon will make an incision where they can gain the best access to where the procedure will take place. They will then prepare for a bone graft by removing the part of the bone they will use to do the graft. After the graft, they will then perform the fusion using the bone graft. Your surgeon may also use metal rods, screws, or plates while the graft heals.
After the surgery, you might have some pain and discomfort that your surgeon can help you control with medication. If you have signs of a possible infection such as redness, swelling, wound drainage, chills, or fever, call your doctor immediately so that proper actions can be taken.
At Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Center, we have physicians that specialize in all different areas of the body. Our spine surgeons will exhaust non-surgical methods prior to recommending a spinal fusion. If you’re experiencing back pain and are looking for a spine doctor in Plano, TX, do let that pain become your new normal. See one of our doctors today and get treated by the right spine doctor right now.
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To schedule an appointment with one our specialists, contact our scheduling department at 972-250-5700 or request an appointment online.
POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!