About Spinal Fusion

Last year there was close to 300,000 automobile accidents in the U.S. and over 80% of the parties’ involved sustained injuries. The majority of injuries to the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) sections of the spine require some form of medical treatment. As a Clearwater back and neck injury attorney, I can’t stress how imperative it is to be evaluated after being involved in a car accident. This will help ensure there are no injuries that are not visible to the eye.

Your back is a complicated structure of bones, muscles, and other tissues extending from your neck to your pelvis. Back injuries can result from sports injuries, work, or most common, a car accident. The lower back is the most common site of spine injuries and back pain. Common back injuries include: sprains and strains, herniated disks, or even a fractured vertebrae. When injuries such as these are sustained, many doctors will recommend spinal fusion surgery.

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion is the name of a surgical procedure in which surgeons “weld” or “fuse” two or more vertebrae together in order to help stabilize the spine. A lumbar spinal fusion is an open back surgery where cervical fusions are completed via a myriad of methods utilized throughout the U.S. Spinal fusion surgery can relieve a variety of painful conditions. The procedure, also known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, is usually performed on the lumbar section of the spine but can also be used in the cervical and thoracic areas. In each case, the goal of surgery is to inhibit the motion of a spinal segment by fusing two or more vertebrae together or repairing a vertebra that has fractured. Neck fusions are generally performed to alleviate instability of the cervical (neck) spinal column. Lumbar fusions are performed both to alleviate instability and also prevent further damage due to a segment of the spine that is out of line.

The vertebrae may be joined with bone tissue donated by the patient or another donor. When the patient’s own bone is used, the procedure is known as an auto graft. When foreign bone tissue is introduced, it’s called an allograft. The joining is not immediate; a long and careful recovery is critical to ensuring that new cells cement the graft and permanently inhibit the moving vertebrae.

Who Gets Fusion Surgery?

• Spinal disc herniation or herniated discs
• Degenerative disc disease