What Spinal Fusion Entails

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine, thus, preventing motion between them. Spinal fusion involves procedures that are designed to imitate the natural healing process of broken bones. Spinal fusion is also very effective in treating deformities, instability, or fractures in the spine. During your spinal fusion procedure, your surgeon will place a bone-like material in between two spinal vertebrae. Your surgeon may use screws, rods, and metal plates to help hold the vertebrae together. In this post, we will advise you why you should do your spinal fusion treatment at Alliance Spine Associates, LLC.

Why is Spinal Fusion Done?

As mentioned earlier, spinal fusion is used to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spinal cord to correct any deformity, improve stability or reduce pain. Additionally, your healthcare provider may recommend a spinal fusion to treat:

  • Herniated disc. Spinal fusion treatments may be used to stabilize the spinal cord after the removal of a damaged herniated disc.
  • Spine deformities. Spinal fusion treatments have proven to be very effective in correcting spinal deformities, such as scoliosis (sideways curvature of the spine).

What are The Risks Involved?

While spinal fusion is generally considered a safe medical procedure, it sometimes carries the potential risk of health complications such as:

  • Blood clots
  • Pain at the region from which the bone graft is taken
  • Poor wound healing
  • Injury to nerves or blood vessels in and around the spine
  • Infection
  • Bleeding 

Preparation and Surgical Procedure

Preparation before spinal fusion treatment usually involves trimming hair over the surgical area and cleaning the site with an antiseptic or special soap. Your surgeon may also order monitoring of any harmful bacteria in your nose by taking a swab sample. You may also be asked about any medication you are taking and may be required to stop taking some of them before the surgical procedure. Surgeons usually perform spinal fusion treatments while under general anesthesia to make you unconscious during the entire procedure. Moreover, there are many techniques for spinal fusion surgery, but it all depends on the location of the vertebrae to be fused, your general health, or the main reason for the spinal fusion. A spinal fusion surgical procedure involves the following:

·       Incision. To access the vertebrae that are being fused, your surgeon will first make an incision in your back directly over your spine or neck, in your throat or abdomen, or on either side of your spinal cord.

·       Bone graft preparation. The bone graft materials that join the two vertebrae may be obtained from a bone bank. If your provider decides to use your bone, they will first make a small opening above the pelvic bone, remove a part of it and close the incision.

·       Fusion. To join the two vertebrae permanently, your surgeon will fit the bone graft material between the two spinal vertebrae with the help of rods, metal plates, and screws.

At Alliance Spine Associates, we provide effective and personalized orthopedic, spine treatment, and pain management techniques. Our highly skilled team of medical specialists knows the importance of individualized treatment solutions and makes sure that our treatments focus on your personal needs. Get started today and schedule an appointment or call us today at 201-754-5069.