Spinal fusion surgery is also known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis. It is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one solid bone with no space between them. The procedure aims at preventing the movement between two bones and prevents back pain. It can be performed at any level in the spine (cervical, thoracic, or lumbar).
When Does An Individual Need This Surgery?
Spinal fusion surgery is required if medicines, physical therapy, and other treatments (like steroid injections) do not relieve the back pain.
Types of Spinal Fusion
Preparation for Spinal Fusion Surgery
The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. A bone graft (ie, a synthetic bone or a small piece of the patient’s pelvic bone) is prepared to fuse the two vertebrae. Depending on the location of fusion, the graft is placed accordingly between the affected vertebras to join them. Once the graft is put in place; plates, screws, and rods are used to keep the spine from moving. This maneuver is called internal fixation. It provides stability and helps the spine to heal faster with a higher rate of success.
Postoperatively, the patient may need to wear a brace to keep the spine in proper alignment. Fusing may take up to 6 weeks or longer, after which normal activities can be resumed. Physical rehabilitation is required to strengthen the back and learn ways to move safely. Complete recovery takes about 3-6 months.
Warning Signs of Infection
Safe and faster recovery from spinal surgery is suggested through physical therapy.
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