Spinal Fusion, in medical terms known as spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, is a corrective surgical technique.Spinal Fusion is undertaken by surgeons in order to correct the abnormal motion of the vertebrae that causes pain, spinal deformity or neurological deficit.Spinal Fusion is usually done in the lower region of the spine (Lumbar) but also it is used to treat cervical and thoracic problems. A patient undergoes a Spinal Fusion in case of scoilosis and kyphosis. Spinal fusion is kept as an option to treat conditions like degenerative disc disease, spinal disc herniation, discogenic pain or vertebral facture.
According to reports from 2011 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) about 488,000 spinal fusions were performed in the United States of America alone.
A bone graft from the patients or a suitable donor is taken and placed in the spaces between the vertebrae to be fused.With the advancements in material sciences, synthetic grafts are also fitted in some cases. After the procedure is done a lot of precautions need to be taken. One needs to wear a back brace.
A few complications like infection, bleeding, pain at graft site, nerve damage or blood clots occur if proper care is not taken before, during and after the procedure of Spinal Fusion.
Types of Spinal Fusion
The type of Spinal Fusion that one undergoes depends on a lot of factors some of the common procedures are Postlateral Gutter Fusion, Posterior Lumbar Interbodyfusion, and Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion or Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion. Depending on the approach the types are named.
Recovery after the Surgery
Pain Management is an important aspect. A number of drugs are prescribed mainly Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Mainly they are for short term pain relief. Also in some cases,long periods of rehabilitation is required as the fusion takes time.