Understanding Spinal Fusion Surgery

Chronic back pain is a common complaint among Americans. Lower back pain, in particular, is especially problematic.

In fact, approximately 80 percent of U.S. adults will struggle with lower back pain at some point in their lives.

If you’ve been dealing with severe lower back pain for a long time and nothing seems to be working, spinal fusion surgery might be your next option.

Read on to learn more about this surgery, what it entails, and who is a good candidate for it.

Doctor explaining anatomical spine to patient in medical office

What Happens During Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is a spinal procedure that is meant to stop any movement from taking place at a particular segment of the spine.

Lumbar spinal fusion is one of the most common types of spinal fusion. It involves stopping movement in the lumbar, or lower portion of the spine.

When you undergo spinal fusion, a surgeon adds a bone graft to a specific area of the spine. The bone graft eventually grows between two vertebral elements of the spine and prevents movement from being able to occur in that particular area.

 

Benefits of Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion might seem like an extreme step to take. It may not be right for everyone, but there are still lots of reasons why someone might choose to undergo it.

The following are some of the primary benefits that this treatment has to offer:

  • Creates space around the spinal cord and relieves nerve pain
  • Reduces the need for future spinal surgeries
  • Helps to correct spinal deformities
  • Reduces wear and tear on the rest of the spine

Spinal fusion is normally not the first step that a physician will recommend taking if you’re struggling with lower back pain. However, for some patients, it’s the only option that will provide them with long-term relief.

 

Signs You Need Spinal Fusion

Are you wondering whether spinal fusion will benefit you? There’s not a clear answer to this question. It depends on the type of pain and other symptoms you’re experiencing.

Individuals who suffer from the following conditions are more likely to benefit from spinal fusion surgery:

  • Degenerative disc diseases
  • Spondylolisthesis (vertebrae slipping out of place)
  • Spinal weakness or instability (often caused by tumors or spinal infections)
  • Spinal fractures
  • Severe scoliosis
  • Severe spinal deformities

If you deal with any of these conditions and other, less-invasive treatments (such as injections or nerve blocks) haven’t helped you, you may want to talk to your doctor about spinal fusion.

 

Schedule Your Surgery Today

Now that you know more about spinal fusion surgery and what happens during the procedure, does it seem like a good option for you?

If you’re experiencing back pain or any of the other symptoms listed above, you may want to look into this option.

If you live in or around the Tampa, Florida area, contact us today at Moreno Spine & Scoliosis.

We’ll help you schedule a consultation to learn more about spinal fusion and find out whether or not you ought to consider it.

Florida Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Anthony P. Moreno received his Bachelor’s and Medical degrees from the University of Florida, where he graduated with honors. After that, he completed his orthopedic residency at Jackson Memorial Medical Center/University of Miami. Dr. Moreno has also completed a Spine Surgery Fellowship at Hahnemann/Penn. As a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Moreno is also a member of the American College of Spine Surgery and speaker. For instance, he has done many presentations around the world on spinal surgical techniques. His knowledge and expertise can help with any of the most complex spinal cases. Read more about Dr. Moreno’s education, certification and credentials here.