What Happens In A Spinal Fusion Surgery

There are a lot of spinal surgeries out there, which are performed on people for a better spine. Spinal fusion surgery is also one of them. Here is everything you need to know about spinal fusion surgery before you go to a spine and back doctor.

What Is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is the procedure in which two or more small bones or vertebrae are joined or welded together to form a solid and single piece of bone. This type of surgery is done when a person’s back or spine is injured or gaps are starting to form in the spine due to a bone disorder or heavy impact. This gap or disorder can lead to a lot of pain in the back and people are unable to sit up straight or even walk, in worst cases, for a long period of time. This is why the spinal fusion surgery becomes necessary to perform for the betterment of the patient’s back and spine.

If it is left untreated, then a lot of nervous issues and spinal problems can occur. People can lose command over different abilities because of the damage to the nervous system, they can feel numbness in their legs and lower back region and it can lead to bigger neurological issues in the long run, so it is better to consult a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon right now and get your spine fused back in place to avoid any problems in the future.

Preparation Before The Surgery

Before the surgery, the doctor may run a few necessary tests and x-rays on your body to find out the main problem and narrow it down. A general anesthesia fitness test may also be done to make sure that you are fine under anesthesia and you will not develop any sort of adverse reaction from the anesthesia during the invasive surgical procedure. These tests are a necessary protocol which needs to be taken so that the surgery goes well and smooth without any complications.

What To Expect During The Surgery?

There are several procedures which are done to fuse a spine. There are more invasive and less invasive options available. One of the very common and effective one is bone grafting. This process provides a real time stimulus for the healing and fusion of the bone. A bone graft may be put in the lower pelvic region of your back or anywhere there might be a gap in the spine. The bone grows over time and the spine is fused by the combination of vertebrae.

After the grafting, the vertebrae need to be held in place, similar to a fractured bone where a cast is put on to prevent movement of the bone and provide proper healing time for the bone. It is mostly recommended that a brace is put on around the back. This will support the vertebrae and the movement of the back is prevented for some time until the bone is fully healed and fused. While wearing a brace is an external option, a surgeon may also use quick healing but internal supports like bars, rods and disks to hold the spine in place. This is generally more invasive but the healing process is quicker. A lot of patients recover quickly before the healing time is up, when internal support or fixation is used after grafting.

The Aftermath Of Spinal Fusion Surgery

Pain is generally experienced after the surgery, but it is nothing that some pain medication can’t handle. You need to take these medications for some time in order to prevent excruciating pain. Spinal fusion takes a period of months to fully recover so it is necessary to keep the alignment of the back proper and not do any strenuous work which puts impact on your back for some time. Regular healthy diet, checkups with the doctor, seeing your progress in real time and doing light physical therapy and exercise will lead to a quick recovery.

With these tell-tale signs and thorough details, you know exactly what to expect from a spinal fusion surgery. You can determine whether it is worth going through or not. You shouldn’t make any decision without getting advice from an orthopedic surgeon McLean.

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