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What is Spinal Fusion?
Monday, May 28, 2018

Living with constant back pain can really hinder people’s lives and make a person not want to get out of their beds in the morning. For some, it is not even possible to go to bed without going through agonizing pain. They would like to have this pain relieved and find a way to get back to their regular life. Getting help from a specialized professional is crucial to get the best possible help for fast recovery.

After the experienced doctors have diagnosed and pin pointed the root cause of the problem by running tests and scans, they will look for the best route for treatment.

One of the effective treatments to permanently cure back pain is spinal fusion. Spinal fusion is a surgical form of treatment to back pain.

What Exactly Is Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion is basically combining or “fusing” small bones in the spinal column; called the vertebrae. The procedure of permanently joining two or more bones can be allegorized with welding of metal parts. The procedure imitates and exploits the natural healing of damaged bones by the body.

What Conditions Will Spinal Fusion Treat?

The doctors would normally recommend spinal fusion surgery for the following reasons:
  • To treat broken or fractured vertebra.
  • If the cervical or spinal disc is slipped and left its place called as spinal herniation, spinal fusion surgery is recommended by doctors.
  • The surgery is performed if the vertebra is found to be abnormally curved (Scoliosis) or deformed in any way.
  • To treat weak spinal cord, that is when there is pain during the motion of vertebra or the vertebra is unstable.
  • Spinal fusion is also performed when the disk is starting to degenerate.
  • To correct the vertebra slips, technically known as Spondylolisthesis
  • When the bones in the spinal channel are narrowing, it is known as spinal Stenosis
  • Infections and tumors in the spinal cord can also be treated by spinal fusion surgery.
How Is Spinal Fusion Performed?

There are a number of different techniques and approaches that doctors have and can implement to perform spinal fusion surgery. The doctor can reach the spinal cord from the back, which is called the ‘posterior approach’, or from the front – the ‘anterior approach’, or even from the side; called the ‘lateral approach’. The doctor will be able to judge and decide which approach is best suited for different circumstances.

The doctors use bone grafts either from the patient themselves or from a donor, or they can use artificial grafts made from various materials. The doctors usually discuss with the patient about what kind of grafts are most suitable for their given condition.

Once the bone grafting is done, the bones are held together in place either through making the patient wear braces or through internal fixation using rods and screws. Internal fixation can speed up the healing process and the patients are able to regain mobility quicker after surgery.

What Next?

The doctors would recommend rest and gradual return to the daily routine after the surgery. The doctors would also advise that the patient is carefully observed to see that they are well adjusted to the treatment. Sometimes the doctors may suggest therapy to improve the speed of recovery.



 
 
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