Spine Surgery: Spinal Fusion

Apr 3 08:22 2012 Abigail Aaronson Print This Article

This article is about spine surgery, particularly about spinal fusion. It gives a general overview of spinal fusion.

Spine surgery is usually a delicate procedure that can be done in several ways. There are many different types of procedures that fall under this kind of operation. Spinal fusion is just one of the many. This operation in particular can help patients who suffer degenerative diseases and other conditions that usually affect the bones in this part of the body. Other conditions include but are not limited to herniation,Guest Posting fractures, tumors and many others. The main goal of this operation is to join together vertebrae in order to restore form and function of the area. To be able to do this, the surgeon needs a bone graft. The graft can either be from the patient himself or from a donor. It is used to stabilize certain vertebrae in order to prevent them from moving.

Two Types

There are two basic types of spinal fusion techniques in spine surgery. The two have the same goal, which is to fuse together two or more vertebrae to correct a condition and improve the framework of the person. The first kind is called a posterolateral fusion. This approach is one where the surgeon comes in from the back instead of the front. In this technique the bone grafts are placed in strategic locations between the transverse processes. This is a pretty straight forward procedure that involves placing metal wires, screws and rods in the areas where they are needed. The other one is called interbody fusion. It is basically, the same with the first one but connects the vertebrae themselves. The point of these types of operations is to make the bones immobile to prevent pain and further degeneration.

Using a bone graft can add to the complication of the spine surgery since it needs some time to develop and be viable for the grafting. In many cases, it is also harvested from the same patient, usually originating from the hip. This means an additional incision needs to be made at this location in order to get it out and to implant the graft in the necessary vertebrae in the back. It is after the bone graft has been installed that a brace of some sort will be placed in order to facilitate the immobilization of the spinal column. The so called internal fixation increases the possibility of faster recovery compared to not putting any framework for support.


Recovery from the spine surgery is dependent on how quickly the vertebrae will fuse together. It may take several weeks before the patient feels comfortable enough to move around freely but it is important to bear in mind that despite this comfort, the bone hasn't entirely solidified yet. Care must be taken when lifting and moving things which need the support of the entire torso. Rehabilitation is necessary in order for the person to learn how to walk and move around accommodating the healing bones. The proper way to carry one's torso needs to be learned in order not to jeopardize the spine surgery results.

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Abigail Aaronson
Abigail Aaronson

When you need a reliable source for spine surgery anniston can trust, come to http://rmccares.org.

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