Spinal fusion is a medical procedure that fuses, or joins, sections of the spine to eliminate movement between the joints and promote stability. When combined with a spinal decompression, spinal fusion has proven to be a viable option for patients suffering the effects of spinal stenosis.
Certain bones in the spine can be fused together after a decompression in order to help strengthen and support the area where bone or tissue was removed. This stabilization will help reduce pain and improve function in the back.
The decompression with spinal fusion procedure is one of the treatment options offered by the Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence.
What Is Spinal Fusion Surgery?
Spinal fusion surgery is performed as a treatment for a variety of back and spine conditions. It is most commonly used to treat instability, pain, and spinal deformities. In some spinal stenosis cases, spinal fusion surgery may be required to correct instability.
To do a fusion, the surgeon will use a bone graft combined with the natural bone growth of the body to bond the vertebrae. The bone grafts are placed around the sections of the spine that require reinforcement and instruments may or may not be inserted along with them. Over a period of months, the bone grafts will naturally heal and become one with the spine. Once the bone is completely healed, the vertebrae are firmly joined and movement between them is eliminated.
There are a variety of approaches and techniques used for spinal fusion surgery, but the idea is always the same. There are differing techniques based on the device that may be implanted, what type of bone is used for the graft, and how the spine is approached. The operation can be done through the back, front, or side of the body.
All varying attributes of fusion surgery are dependent on the individual case, including patient age, health, and severity of condition. The surgeons at Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence are widely-regarded as the top experts in spinal fusion and other forms of spinal stenosis treatment. Because of this, they are able to use the most effective possible approach and techniques to treat every individual case.
Why Is Spinal Fusion Used with Decompression?
Spinal fusion surgery is an operation that creates a permanent bond between two or more vertebrae. It is occasionally used to strengthen and stabilize the spine and eliminate pain following a decompression procedure. During a laminectomy, a section of the vertebra is removed to reduce pressure and create more room for the spinal nerves.
This process can potentially create instability in that region of the spine. If this happens, the surgeon may deem it necessary to fuse the area for support. Once the required vertebrae are fused and immobilized, the symptoms related to their movement are eliminated. The surgeon will decide before the decompression procedure whether or not fusion will be necessary.
Spinal Fusion Recovery
Spinal fusion is considered a significant operation. It is a proven means of stabilizing the spine and eliminating pain, but recovery from it does take time. Every case is different, so the total time required for the bone grafts to heal can vary. Usually, the first sign of healing is at around the six-week mark, and major healing doesn’t commence until a few months following surgery. It is normal for the surgical team at Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence to monitor fusion patients for up to a year to ensure proper healing and recovery.
Many activities are to be avoided until the bone has significantly healed. In order for the bone grafts to be successful, activity and movement restrictions are prescribed throughout the recovery process. The time before returning to work will depend on the physical demand that it requires, as well as the patient’s progress. Every case is different, so all of these details will be discussed with the surgeon.
Contact a Spinal Stenosis Expert in Los Angeles
If you have been told that you may require decompression and fusion surgery in Los Angeles, or if you would like to discuss the benefits of spinal decompression, contact the world-renowned spine specialists at the Spinal Stenosis Center of Excellence. Our top surgical team provides the highest level of spinal care with a minimally invasive, patient-centered approach. Each case is treated on an individual basis and our surgeons always strive to find the best possible course of treatment for every patient. If you would like to schedule a consultation, call today at 888.538.0565 or use our contact form.