Spinal fusion surgery may not be the first line of treatment for spine-related pain; but in some cases, the surgery can provide definite benefits for your existing and long-term spine health.
At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, spine surgeon Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS, has extensive experience performing spinal fusion surgeries and uses the latest techniques to optimize your results. Dr. Bo provides some insight into what’s involved in a spinal fusion and what conditions may benefit from this type of treatment.
A spinal fusion is a procedure to join together two or more vertebrae in your spine to create one bone. The goal of a spinal fusion is to limit movement in the vertebrae and provide more stability in your spine.
Prior to your fusion, Dr. Bo creates a surgical treatment plan to determine the best approach to surgery. He can access the area of your spine through incisions in your abdomen (anterior approach) or thorough your back (posterior approach). He may also access your spine from the side using a lateral approach.
In many cases, Dr. Bo can use minimally invasive techniques that require only very small incisions and specialized surgical tools to perform the fusion.
Spinal fusion surgery may be a last-resort treatment option for a number of conditions that cause back pain, neck pain, or disability but aren’t treatable with conservative therapies.
You may be a candidate for a spinal fusion if you have spinal instability from a serious fracture from a fall, an auto accident, or from osteoporosis.
Degenerative spine conditions are also a common reason for a spinal fusion. You may need surgery if you have:
Before he recommends you for spine surgery, Dr. Bo performs a comprehensive evaluation of your health and your spine condition through a physical exam, X-rays, and other imaging tests. You might need to try medications, anesthetic injections, and other conservative therapies before you’re considered for surgery.
To fuse two or more bones together, Dr. Bo can take bone from another part of your body and place it in the space between the vertebrae (bone graft). The graft heals over time, fusing to your natural bone to stabilize your spine.
Dr. Bo may add screws, rods, or plates to the graft to keep it in place. After your surgery, you may need to wear a brace to immobilize your spine, so the graft heals fully.
You can expect to need several weeks of recovery before you can get back to your usual activities. Minimally invasive spine surgery may require less healing time than traditional open surgery and also reduces your risk for bleeding, infection, and other post-surgical complications.
Our team continues to monitor your healing progress and Dr. Bo can determine when you can stop using the brace and start increasing your physical activity.
To find out if you qualify for spinal fusion, schedule a consultation with Dr. Bo online or by calling The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care office nearest you today.