spinal fusionDo you suffer from persistent lower back pain? If you have tried non-surgical methods like physical therapy with no result, it may be time to consult with your doctor about a surgical procedure such as spinal fusion surgery. Here are some things to consider:

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is a surgical procedure that involves permanently fusing, or joining together two or more vertebrae in the spine to create a single solid piece of bone. Spinal fusion is used to eliminate movement between the vertebrae, as well as to prevent the stretching of nerves and any surrounding ligaments and muscles. This procedure is used to mimic the natural healing process of broken bones and typically lasts anywhere from 3 to 4 hours.

To access the patient’s spine, the doctor will make a surgical incision on your neck, back, or side in order to access the spine. The spine may be approached from the back (posterior approach), the front (anterior approach), or a combination of the two.

The vertebrae will then be fused together using bone graft taken from other parts of the body (typically the pelvic bone) or from a bone bank. Alternatively, your doctor may choose to use metal plates, screws or rods to hold the vertebrae together until new bone grows in-between them.

When Should You Consider Spinal Fusion Surgery?

There are several circumstances when your doctor could recommend spinal fusion surgery including treatment for many back conditions including:

  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Instability (abnormal or excessive motion between two or more vertebrae)
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disks
  • Scoliosis or Kyphosis
  • Injury or fractures
  • Infections
  • Tumors

Spinal fusion is occasionally considered in the handling of a painful spinal condition without clear instability. However, spinal surgery like spinal fusion is typically only recommended when your doctor can confidently identify the source of your back pain.

In order to locate the source, your doctor may choose to run imaging tests such as x-rays, CTs and MRI scans. Your doctor will be able to determine if surgery is right for you after considering several factors, including the condition being treated, its location, as well as your overall health.

Spinal Fusion Surgery at the Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County

The Orthopedic Center of Palm Beach County’s team of experienced, fellowship-trained spinal surgeons is dedicated to providing the relief you need to live a happier, healthier life.

Are you interested in learning more about how OCPBC’s spinal fusion surgery can improve your life? Call us today or schedule an appointment at one of our three offices located throughout Palm Beach County. Contact us at (561) 967-6500 to set up your appointment today!