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Spinal Diseases Health Feed

What To Expect From Spinal Fusion Surgery?

What To Expect From Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion is a surgery in which two or more vertebrae in the vertebral column or back are fused or joined to treat a slew of spinal problems and diseases, which cause debilitating back pain. This surgery helps to remove bone and tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal, squeezing the spinal cord and nerves, reducing pain and improving function.

There are many different causes of back pain like injury, poor posture, age, osteoarthritis, herniation of disc between two vertebrae, degenerative disc disease, narrowing of spine called stenosis, and spondylosis or lessening of space between the vertebrae- most of these can be treated using spinal fusion.

All of these causes put tremendous pressure on the vertebrae and pinch spinal nerves that pass through the back and radiate out into the arms, legs and torso. Apart from the pain, patients experience nerve and muscle weakness and irreversible damage affecting normal life.

Spinal fusion started off as just a treatment for fractures but now it has become the surgery of choice for a number of spine problems. Though it can be done anywhere in the spine, it is very effective when done in the lower part of the spine called lumbar spinal fusion or arthrodesis.

Spinal fusion is done by forming a direct bony connection between the vertebrae surrounding the painful discs, the cushioning between the vertebrae. Pain is stopped by stopping the motion of the painful discs.

There are different methods of spinal fusion each with its own advantages and limitations.

Techniques include fusion approached from the front, the back, or both of the vertebral column. Sometimes surgeons decide to use intervertebral cages or metal screws to provide internal structural support while the bone fuses. These cages may be placed between the vertebrae and packed with bone graft material taken from the patient or constructed out of synthetic materials.

What to expect?
Spinal fusion is not a risk-free procedure. It is a major surgery lasting several hours and carrying a number of risks like-

  1. Failure of the vertebral fusion and breaking of metal implants
  2. The vertebrae above and below the fusion can wear away aggravating problems
  3. Blood clots may be formed that can travel to lungs causing embolism
  4. Injury to spinal nerves causing permanent weakness in legs and problem with bladder and bowel function
  5. Infections and blood loss
  6. Heart attack or stroke during surgery

The patient has to be kept in hospital for a couple of days for post-operative care after which he will have to undergo rehabilitation for months. Hence, one should really think before going for spinal fusion. And when it is recommended, seek a second opinion before making a decision.

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Pilonidal Sinus Patients - Say No To Surgery!

Pilonidal Sinus Patients - Say No To Surgery!

Pilonidal Sinus/Cyst is Characterized By - 

• Small nodular swelling in the lower spinal region with occasional discharges that may stain undergarments. Sometimes mild pain may also be noticed.

• It is usually seen in adults of college/ school going age & with hairy skin.

Pilonidal Sinus/ Cyst seldom heal with medicinal treatment. Any medication whether allopathic, Ayurvedic or homeopathic may show some temporary relief but do not eradicate the problem. In most of the patients having pilonidal sinus/ cyst, surgeons usually recommend surgical procedures like Z-plasty etc. Even after surgery the chances of recurrences are always there. Post operative pain, hospitalization and chances of recurrence are the factors which suggest that surgery is not the appropriate method of treating pilonidal sinus/ cyst.

Treatment of Choice (Ayurveda) -

In Ayurveda, a parasurgical treatment known as Ksharsutra therapy is an effective treatment for pilonidal sinus/ cyst. Treatment method includes proper identification of sinus tract wrt. its depth, direction and branching pattern. This could be achieved via sinogram or skilled probing. Once the sinus tract has been properly identified, a super specialized medicated thread i.e. Graded ksharsutra™ is placed in the tract. The medicine from the medicated thread is gradually released which leads to debridement of the sinus tract which means unhealthy tissue, pus, hairs are expelled out from the tract. The proper and complete debridement of the tract induces healing of the sinus which subsequently heals. The medicine coated thread remains effective for 7-10 days after which it has to be replaced by a new thread.

Usually, in a sinus of approx. 5 cm length, 6-8 sittings of medicated thread replacement are required at a weekly interval. Ksharsutra therapy being a non surgical opd procedure doesn't involve any hospitalization or bed rest and patients can resume their routine work immediately after treatment. Graded ksharsutra treatment is the treatment of choice for Pilonidal Sinus as chances of recurrence are seldom seen.

Pilonidal Sinus/ Cyst Treatment FAQs

Question 1 - What is Pilonidal Sinus/ Cyst Disease?

Answer - Pilonidal Sinus disease is seen as a small nodular swelling in the lower spinal region with occasional discharges of pus & blood. It is most commonly found in people with hairy skin. Sometimes mild pain may also be noticed. The main problem is that it keeps on developing again and again after short period of remission. As the problem aggravates, the size of the swelling & pus discharges also increase. It is usually not noticeable in the beginning till it keeps recurring again and again. It is advisable not to get it operated as the chances of recurrence after surgery are pretty high, where as in Ayurveda with the help of Graded ksharsutra, this problem can be completely cured without surgery.

Question 2 - What are the Causes of Pilonidal Sinus Disease?

Answer - Pilonidal sinus is also known as the jeep riders back problem. The problem was first recorded on a large scale during World War II in the soldiers who rode jeeps and motorbikes on a frequent basis. Though, the reason behind the occurrence of the issue is really not known it is believed that in growing hairs and hairs penetrating the skin are main cause. The problem is more common in people who have hairy skin.

Question 3 - Home remedies for Pilonidal Sinus?

Answer - Pilonidal Sinus is an infective condition usually seen in hairy skin individuals. As such there is no home remedy for Pilonidal Sinus. So instead of wasting time in searching for home remedies; you should plan for complete treatment i.e. Graded Ksharsutra™ Treatment for Pilonidal Sinus as soon as possible.

Question 4 - What are the ways of identifying a Pilonidal Sinus and Recognizing Signs of Infection?

Answer -The main problem with identifying Pilonidal Sinus Infection is; it cannot be done till it grows to a certain extent. At first, it appears like a normal boil on the skin. When it does not go away with time; pus starts discharging out of it. We have demarcated a few of the signs that may help you in detecting the problem.

1. Sensation of pain while sitting or standing in the low back region.

2. The cyst appears swollen

3. Pus and blood mixed watery discharge from the cyst

4. Reddened skin near the cyst

5. Cyst forming again and again

Mujhe spinal kocks hai our Mere back side mai bahut Dard Hota Hai chalne uthne baithne pr what I do?

Mujhe spinal kocks hai our Mere back side mai bahut Dard Hota Hai chalne uthne baithne pr what I do?
I suggest you to consult with a Physiotherapist ASAP. Do some stretches and exercises for your Calf muscle and Hams. Do Hot Compression over the Painful areas of the back. There are lots of other spinal Exercises that you need to do in a regular basis. There are different other electro Therapeutic Modalities needed to cure your condition.

Yesterday when I was in gym Suddenly stuck in the middle of my spinal cord. After then did not feel good, like when I'm taking to breath it's paining. And it's still going on. Please someone give me a favour.

Yesterday when I was in gym Suddenly stuck in the middle of my spinal cord. After then did not feel good, like when I...
Take some rest 1-2 days, do ice packs 10 min 4-5 times a day. If gets 70-80% relief no worries. If same need further investigation.
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My grandfather have spine problem 2 rings of spine pressed the main vein of spine. The problem is that he is unable to walk and have problem of urine and Doctor told us that the operation is only way to treat that problem.

My grandfather have spine problem 2 rings of spine pressed the main vein of spine. The problem is that he is unable t...
Your doctor is right that only surgery can correct and you need to make sure if it is feasible in his age and in his general health
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Sir/Mam, in my diagnosis of spinal problem my Dr. Have written some phrase as "FVC of? Serronegative spondyloarthropathy" .Could you please explain me what does it mean is it clear in the mind of Dr. That I have this disease or does? This question mark mean something (please note I am HLA B27 POSITIVE.)

Sir/Mam, in my diagnosis of spinal problem my Dr. Have written some phrase as "FVC of? Serronegative spondyloarthropa...
This problem of yours can be or may be Ankylosing Spondylitis which is an Orthopedic issue of spine or Sacroiliac joint affecting the cartilage or disc , compressing the spine which leads to pain and joint stiffness. Usually HLAB-27 is Positive in Ankylosing Spondylitis patients
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Tuberculosis Of Spine - An Insight!

Tuberculosis Of Spine - An Insight!

A few decades back, spinal tuberculosis was a dreaded disease. It is not so, anymore. With advancements in the medicinal field, when diagnosed in the early stages, a complete cure is possible.

Tuberculosis of the spine is one of the most common spine ailments in our country. Though there was no treatment when the disease was first reported, recent improvements in medical treatment and surgical procedures have made the condition treatable. In many cases, the disease is cured completely.

Molecular genetic techniques, stronger antibiotics and other medicinal discoveries and inventions have been able to combat the condition, which is resistant to a huge number of drugs. There are many surgical procedures as well, which has changed the way spine TB is looked at. These include extrapleural dorsal spine anterior stabilization, endoscopic thoracoscopic surgeries, single stage anterior and posterior stabilization among others.

How is it caused?
Tuberculosis affects people living in overcrowded, dirty and poorly nourished environments. The aerobic organism that is responsible for this physical condition is Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which grows rapidly in unfavorable conditions. It grows only intermittently or remains dormant for a long period to then re-grow whenever the immunity system of the host weakens.

What are the different types of TB spine?
Spinal tuberculosis takes two forms. In the first case, the symptoms are mild. The infection starts in the anterior part of the disc and slowly spreads to the nearby surface of the body. The neural arches are very rarely involved here. This results in a vertebral collapse. The spine bends forward to produce kyphus. In the second type, several vertebrae are involved, but the disc space might not become narrow.

What are the symptoms of TB spine?
The first symptom is an excessive pain in the back, which manifests as kyphosis increases. Kyphosis is the condition wherein there is an increase in the normal convex curve of the spine. Later, pus forms at the infected vertebrae and this comes down to the tissue planes and forms a cold abscess in uncommon places. This happens in the groin region, and the person may become paraplegic.

In a child, spinal tuberculosis will cause them to constantly complain about back pains. They will not feel well for a long period and will gradually lose weight. They may not want to sit for a long time and resent any physical activity. The child will be vulnerable in the low thoracic or upper lumbar spine and can show any of the above-mentioned signs that are seen in adults.

The most common symptoms of spinal tuberculosis are kyphus, reduction in the movement of the lumbar spine, cold abscesses in the paraspinal area, groin and loin, and sinuses. The doctor always tests the reflexes in the patient’s legs, sensation, power, and tone before diagnosing this condition.

Though a rare disease, tuberculosis in the spine can occur in people from both developed and undeveloped areas. Proper diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis with or without surgery at the right time is the key to cure the disease.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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Spinal Disease and Homeopathy!

Diseases of the spine Introduction:- The part of the nervous systems that exits in the spinal canal is called ‘The Spine’. There are several types of diseases related to the spinal cord:- Neuralgic weakness- It occurs due to occurring excessive weakness in the nerves. Irritation of the spine- Pain starts in the back and waist of the patient. Pain is aggravated in the spinal cord or other organs due to pressing or holding on the back and the waist or by doing little more hard work. It is due to occurring weakness in the nerve. Mostly, this type of disease occurs in the fair sex (female) compared to the male. Patient feels crawling sensation or insensitiveness in the body with emission (night fall), irritation of the bladder. 

 Treatment by different drugs:-

1. Arg-nit- If irritation of the spine is occurring with other symptoms as- headache, insensitiveness of the several organs, stomachache, flatulence, constipation, etc., 6 potency of this drug can be used for its treatment. 2. Picric-acid- For the treatment of burning sensation in the spinal cord, weakness of the legs, pain from the spinal cord to the forehead, 30 potency of this drug can be used.

3. Baccilinum- If gutica has occurred, for the treatment of it, Baccilinum 200 can be used.

4. Agaricus- If this disease has occurred in weak women, using 3 potency of this drug is very effective to cure this disease. Several types of other drugs can be also used to cure this disease as- Silica 30, Sulphur 30, Ignatiia 3, Cimicifuga 3, Bell 3, Secale 3, Cocculus 6 or Asafoetida 3, etc. Patient should take bath with cold water or wash his back with hot water before the treatment. Nutritive diet should be taken and living in an open air.

5. Thuja- If this disease has occurred due to taking additional tea, for the treatment of it, Thuja 6 is used. Spinal anaemia- This disease occurs due to bleeding from the spinal cord and much weakness in the hritpiInd. This disease can be treated by the use of several types of other drugs also as- Acid-phos 1x or 6, China 6, Secale 3, Ferrum 6, the powder of Ars-iod 6x, etc. These drugs should be used according to the symptoms. Spinal hyperaemia:- This disease occurs due to piles, exposure to cold or injury, doing more laborious work, suppression of menses and by taking several types of drugs, etc. With occurring pain in the waist and the spinal cord, tinkling is also occurring in the body. Ars 6, Hypericum 3, Sulphur 30 or Rhus-tox 6 can be also used to cure this disease.

Spinal apoplexy:- Symptoms like paralysis or apoplexy are found due to bleeding in the spinal cord or inside the membrane that covers the spinal cord.  If the tongue, hands and legs become insensitive due to bleeding in this disease, using Guaiacum 3 helps to cure this disease. Accumulation of water in the spinal cord:- In this disease, water gets accumulated in the spinal cord resulting swelling occurs in this part and patient starts to suffer more. Spinal meningitis:- When this disease occurs, burning sensation begins in the membrane that covers the spinal cord. Causes and symptoms become same. When this disease occurs, patient feels fever and restlessness, suppressed sweat and pain occurring due to injury. Aconite 3 is very useful for the treatment of such symptoms. When pain occurs in the body that is aggravated by movement with such symptoms, for the treatment of it, using Bryonia 3 is appropriate. If the patient becomes unconscious with the feeling of much lethargy and his body starts shivering, Bryonia 1x can be used to cure the patient, but if symptoms like paralysis are found in the patient, Oxalic acid 3 should be used for its treatment. Myelitis or inflammation of the spinal cord:- Due to falling, getting hurt and exposure to cold, severe fever in the condition of measles or fracture of the spinal cord or by doing more hard work, etc., burning sensation occurs in some part or the whole part of the spinal cord and stretching occurs in the patient’s body. Sometimes, paralysis attacks the patient suffering from this disease within few hours. If paralysis attacks after few hours of the feeling of burning sensation of the spinal cord, swelling occurs in his entire spinal cord. His body is bended backward. Sometimes the eyes remain open, but does not visible anything. Sometimes, deafness also occurs with the feeling of fast laziness. This fever occurs due to a type of infectious bacteria. This disease occurs also in the young age, winter season and by avoiding healthy rules. Sometimes, pimples are also appear (erupt) on the face due to this disease. Fever persists in the patient in between 103 to 106 degree. This disease occurs in small children and teenagers There are two types of burning sensation in the spinal cord:- Acute (new) burning sensation of the spinal cord. Chronic burning sensation of the spinal cord.

Treatment of Acute burning sensation of the spinal cord:-

1. Aconite- The patient feels fast pain in his spinal cord; the back of the patient is stretched and becomes curved like a bow with the symptoms of fever and fear ness, etc. thus, Aconite 3 should be used for the treatment of such symptoms.

2. Nux-vomica- The patient’s body begins to becoming curved like bow with attack of fast pain, the symptoms of disease get aggravate by touching the affected part, the back feels as if it has rubbed or broken, etc. thus, taking Nux-vomica 3 at an interval of every 1-1 hour is very useful for the treatment of such symptoms.

3. Cicuta- The spinal cord of the patient feels burning sensation with fast stretchiness especially on the back side and the body is bended one-sided. Thus, taking Cicuta 3 or 6 at an interval of every 1-1 hour is very useful for the treatment of such symptoms.  

4. Belladonna- If the attack of the disease occurs on the upper part of the spinal cord; pain like inserting knife in the spinal cord; muscles throbs like current and severe fever has occurred, etc., Belladonna 30 should be used for the treatment of such symptoms.Treatment of chronic burning sensation of the spinal cord.

5. Oxalic acid- If legs became stiff and pain is occurring due to exposure to cold with burning sensation, for the treatment of it, Oxalic acid 3x should be taken at an interval of every 1-1 hour.

6. Plumbum- If the symptoms of chronic paralysis are found in the spinal cord, Plumbum 6 should be taken at an interval of every 4-4 hours for its treatment.

7. Arsenic- Feeling restlessness with burning sensation of the spinal cord, stiffness, symptoms like paralysis are found in many parts of the body, stretchiness, feeling only cold that helps symptoms to aggravate and feeling pain, etc. thus, to cure disease of the patient, Arsenic 3 should be used at an interval of every 2-2 hours.

8. Opium- Patient becomes more lethargic; vision becomes stable; many organs become curved; the mouth is opened and loud sound comes from the nose. Thus, using Opium 3 or 6 is very effective to cure such symptoms of the patient.

9. Helleborus- Excessive sadness occurs, pain is much behind the forehead and the neck, patient goes on moving his head continuously and inserting his head in the pillow. Thus, this drug should be used to cure such symptoms of the patient.

10. Veretrum-Viride- The forehead is bended backward with stiffness and stretch. Thus, this drug is used to cure such symptoms.

11. Cimicifuga- In the condition of contraction or stffness in the muscles, 3 potency of this drug should be taken. If well chosen drugs make no impression, this drug can be also used to cure this disease.

12. Amon-carb- If fast pain is occurring behind and below the ear with this disease, using Amon-carb 200 is very effective for the treatment of such symptoms.

13. Crotalus- If the symptoms of fever present in the patient with this disease and blood have become poisonous, Crotalus 3 is used to cure this disease.

14. Acid-hydro- In the condition of becoming all the organs of the body cold with this disease, Acid-hydro 3x can be used for its treatment.

15. Gelsemium- The symptoms of paralysis start to found in the patient’s body with lack of hearing power, feels cold, body temperature rises, headache, light sleep, pulse becomes soft, weak and the eyeball remains wide, etc. thus, Gelsemium 1x or 3x can be used to cure such symptoms of the patient.

16. Silica- If the symptom of deafness has found with burning sensation of the spinal cord, Silica 6 is very useful to cure this disease.

17. Sulphur- By the use of 30 potency of this drug, burning sensation of the spinal cord can be cured, but it is necessary to having the symptoms of deafness in the patient too.

What should we do or not:-

1. Patient should not live in the airy room.

2. Patient should not live in the dark and noisy roo.

3. Patient’s body should be wiped with a piece of cloth or towel after immersing it in hot water.

4. Patient should take nutritive liquid diet and light meals.

5. Alcohol and stimulant should not be taken.

6. He should not sleep on the soft bed because it helps wounds to appear on the back.

7. He should take nutritive diet like milk, fruits juice and other liquid substances. Paralysis of the spinal cord:- Mostly, this disease occurs in children, but occasionally in a young male and female. Unhealthy ness of the muscles:- Due to this disease, muscles become weak. It is a type of vat razzu disease. First of all, the symptoms of this disease visible in the thumb then the shoulders and the arms get affected and in the last, it affects the muscles and patient becomes like a Skelton. Thus, to cure this disease, taking Phosphorus 3 or Plumbum 6 is beneficial. Several types of other drugs can be also used to cure this disease as- Arg-nit 6, Arnica 3, Gels 3x or Sulphur 30, etc. Locomotor ataxia:- This disease occurs due to working hard, exposure to cold and by heat. In the condition of this disease, first of all, symptoms related to stool appear in the patient, all the part of the body especially both the legs feel pain like gastric or neuralgic pain, body strength is decreased and in the last, patient is not able to put his legs properly according to its own desire.

Treatment by different drugs:-

1. Secale and Fluoric acid- Secale 3 can be used for the treatment of first stage of T.B. of the spinal cord, after that Flouric acid 3 should be used.

2. Kali-iod- If T.B. of the spinal cord has occurred due to any type of syphilis, using Kali-iod 3 is beneficial to cure this disease.

3. Picric-acid- If symptoms of much tiredness found in the patient suffering from T.B. of the spinal cord, Picric-acid can be used for its treatment.

4. Arg-nit- If the hands of the patient suffering from T.B. of the spinal cord are shivering with lack of vision, using 3 potency of this is beneficial.

5. Phosphorus- 3 potency of this drug is used when following symptoms present in the patient like- shivering of the hands, lack of vision, etc. To cure T.B. of the spinal cord, drugs like- Arum 3 or 200, Nux-vom 3, the powder of Magnesia-phos 6x, Medorrhinum 200, Alumen 6, the powder of Carbo-veg 3x, Lyco 6, Ars 3, Bell 3, Strychninum 3, Angstiyura 3, Gels 3, Plumbum 30, Causticum 200, Phosphorus 6, Zincum 30 or Rhus-tox 30 can be used according to the symptoms.

What should we do or not in the case of T.B. of the spinal cord:-

1. In the condition of T.B. of the spinal cord, alcohol and smoking should be avoided, because it can make the patient’s condition worse.

2. Patient should not take meat, fish and eggs, etc.

3. He should protect himself from cold.

4. He should not take bath in an open air.

5. Milk should be taken everyday. It is best for the patient suffering from this disease

. 6. He should do light exercise in the morning and evening.

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Degenerative Disc Disorder

Degenerative Disc Disorder

Human spine is meant to give proper movements to the body. This is the reason we have 33 pieces of bones in one bone, these pieces articulate with each other and give movement.

But bones cannot articulate smoothly with each other, being rough in structure. This is the reason- nature facilitated us with soft cushion like tissues which give proper articulation and also work as shock absorbers. These cushions are known as intervertebral discs.

When these discs start decaying that is the condition known as- Degenerative disc disorder, as per the data around 10 million people are reported every year in India. This is a condition which is thought to be chronic and incurable but things are not like that in Ayurveda. We have been doing all these cases of degenerative disc disorder since last 11 years.

Sukhayu has an approach, Sukhayu believes that if we can find out the basic root cause of the problem then certainly we can cure the condition.

Here is the approach we follow for the treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease.

What disc looks alike:
intervertebral discDisc is a soft tissue structure, with a jelly-like tissue in the middle, surrounded by many layers of the fibrous ligaments, which encircle this jelly. The jelly in between is known as- Nucleus Pulposus. This jelly is the basic thing which provides movements and push-back mechanism to give a cushioning impact. This jelly is kept alive by the blood supply through small capillaries to these discs.

In layman language- A disc is a balloon-like structure which is filled with jelly.

Degenerative Disc Disease
These discs, lie in the space between the vertebral bodies the space known as intervertebral space. Once this space is reduced due to any reason, it presses the disc.

There are blood vessels in the nucleus pulposus and when extra pressure is created on these arteries, these start bursting due to pressure. So the blood supply to the nucleus pulposus (jelly) is arrested. Due to lack of the blood supply, this jelly starts shrinking and degenerating.  For life, one thing is important and that is “nutrition”. This nutrition means a lot to the different cells of the body.

This condition, where the disc starts degenerating is known as degenerative disc disorder (DDD).

In this case, it is very clear that cause behind the degenerative disc diseases is the extra pressure on the disc. If we press anything beyond its limit, it will certainly cause certain problems to that thing. Same is the story with disc. This is the pressure which destroys the blood supply within the disc and leads to the problem. The blood vessels are the tissues which can be recreated very easily, these are the nerves which are hard (near to impossible, according to chronicity of the condition).

Treatment of  Disc Degenerative Disease
We took the approach of – Revival and Replenishment for the treatment of the degenerative disc disorder. The first thing we do is try to find out the affected muscles and the reason behind their stiffness, which can be dietary “dryness” or it can be bad posture (that we decide through pulse diagnosis). Once we can find the cause then we plan Panchakarma according to the requirement of the patient. The second step in the process of treatment is recreation of the space (intervertebral space) which was designated for the disc- this we do through tailored Yoga Asanas, which we select and modify according to the requirement of the patient.

The whole process of the treatment takes almost 4 to 5 months out of this, a patient needs to stay with us at Sukhayu for almost 21 days maximum and 15 days minimum. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Ayurveda.

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Spinal Fusion Surgery - What To Expect?

Spinal Fusion Surgery - What To Expect?

Spinal fusion is a surgery in which two or more vertebrae in the vertebral column or back are fused or joined to treat a slew of spinal problems and diseases, which cause debilitating back pain. This surgery helps to remove bone and tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal, squeezing the spinal cord and nerves, reducing pain and improving function.

There are many different causes of back pain like injury, poor posture, age, osteoarthritis, herniation of disc between two vertebrae, degenerative disc disease, narrowing of spine called stenosis, and spondylosis or lessening of space between the vertebrae- most of these can be treated using spinal fusion.

All of these causes put tremendous pressure on the vertebrae and pinch spinal nerves that pass through the back and radiate out into the arms, legs and torso. Apart from the pain, patients experience nerve and muscle weakness and irreversible damage affecting normal life.

Spinal fusion started off as just a treatment for fractures but now it has become the surgery of choice for a number of spine problems. Though it can be done anywhere in the spine, it is very effective when done in the lower part of the spine called lumbar spinal fusion or arthrodesis.

Spinal fusion is done by forming a direct bony connection between the vertebrae surrounding the painful discs, the cushioning between the vertebrae. Pain is stopped by stopping the motion of the painful discs.

There are different methods of spinal fusion each with its own advantages and limitations.

Techniques include fusion approached from the front, the back, or both of the vertebral column. Sometimes surgeons decide to use intervertebral cages or metal screws to provide internal structural support while the bone fuses. These cages may be placed between the vertebrae and packed with bone graft material taken from the patient or constructed out of synthetic materials.

What to expect?
Spinal fusion is not a risk-free procedure. It is a major surgery lasting several hours and carrying a number of risks like-

  1. Failure of the vertebral fusion and breaking of metal implants
  2. The vertebrae above and below the fusion can wear away aggravating problems
  3. Blood clots may be formed that can travel to lungs causing embolism
  4. Injury to spinal nerves causing permanent weakness in legs and problem with bladder and bowel function
  5. Infections and blood loss
  6. Heart attack or stroke during surgery

The patient has to be kept in hospital for a couple of days for post-operative care after which he will have to undergo rehabilitation for months. Hence, one should really think before going for spinal fusion. And when it is recommended, seek a second opinion before making a decision. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Orthopedist.

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