If you have been diagnosed with a spinal disorder, you may be considering spinal fusion surgery as a treatment option. This procedure can help alleviate back pain and improve function. But what is spinal fusion, and what can you expect from the surgery?
This guide will discuss the basics of spinal fusion surgery. We will cover what the procedure entails, who qualifies for this surgery, and its benefits. By understanding the facts about spinal fusion surgery, you can decide whether this is the proper treatment for you.
What is spinal fusion surgery, and what does it involve?
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that joins two or more vertebrae together to stabilize and correct problems with the spine. The surgeon will fuse the bones using metal rods, screws, and plates. The fusion solidifies the spine and stops abnormal movement providing spinal stability and pain relief. In some cases, a bone graft may also be used to help promote healing.
Spinal fusion can correct problems such as scoliosis, herniated disks, and spinal stenosis. Spinal fusion may also be performed to support the spine after an injury.
Your neurosurgeon may recommend spinal fusion if you have severe pain or disability from your condition. This type of surgery is possible if other treatments, such as physical therapy, medication, and injections, have failed to relieve your pain.
Recovery from the procedure can take several months, but most people report a significant reduction in pain after the procedure. If you are experiencing back pain or other issues with your spine, talk to your doctor to see if spinal fusion surgery might be right for you.
Who needs spinal fusion surgery?
This procedure can be performed to treat patients with conditions that affect the spine, including:
- Spinal stenosis: A spinal canal constriction that causes pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
- Spondylolisthesis: A condition in which one vertebra slips forward out of place onto the vertebra below it.
- Degenerative disc disease: A condition that occurs when the discs between the vertebrae begin to break down.
- Curvature of the spine: A condition that can cause the spine to curve to the side (scoliosis) or front (kyphosis).
Many people experience relief from their pain after spinal fusion surgery. The surgery may even lead to a complete disappearance of their symptoms for some. Spinal fusion can also help improve your ability to perform daily activities and exercise and reduce your risk of future injury.
In addition, the surgery can sometimes correct deformities in the spine and improve your posture. Spinal fusion is a significant operation, so it is essential to discuss all the potential risks and benefits with your doctor before deciding.
Spinal fusion surgery has the potential to relieve pain, improve function, and lead to a better quality of life. With surgical techniques and technological advances, more patients are candidates for this life-changing procedure. If you are a candidate for spinal fusion surgery, ask about all of your options and what would be best for your specific condition. Talk to your doctor today to see if it’s right for you.
After spinal fusion surgery, patients undergo a supervised recovery process that includes several phases. The first phase, which typically lasts for the first few days after surgery, focuses on allowing the patient to rest and heal. During this time, patients will be encouraged to take it easy and may be given pain medication to help with any discomfort.
The second phase of recovery is typically started a week after surgery and involves slowly increasing activity levels. During this time, patients may be asked to begin walking short distances and doing light exercises. They will also continue to take pain medication as needed.
The third phase of recovery usually begins a few weeks after surgery and gradually increases activity levels even further. Patients in this phase may seek the assistance of a physical therapist to help them regain strength and mobility. They will likely still need to take pain medication during this phase, although the dosages may be decreased.
The fourth and final recovery phase is typically started around three months after surgery. In this phase, patients should be able to return to their normal activities, including work and exercise. They may still need to take pain medication on an as-needed basis, but the dosages should be much lower than in the early phases of recovery.
Don’t Suffer From Back Pain Any Longer With Patient-Centered Spinal Fusion Surgery.
Our team of expert specialists at GNS Surgery Center partners with you to provide advanced care for back, neck, and spinal disorders. We pride ourselves on our expertise in spinal fusion surgery, and we are committed to providing you with the highest quality care possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.