Spinal Fusion: When Turning to Surgery Is the Right Option for You

Spinal Fusion: When Turning to Surgery Is the Right Option for You

Spinal surgery is generally not the first step you take when treating a spine condition. However, there may come a time when other treatments fail, and you must consider surgery.

At The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, our board-certified spine surgeon Gbolahan Okubadejo, MD, FAAOS, specializes in a wide range of minimally invasive spine surgeries, including spinal fusion surgery.

Before a spinal fusion is an option, Dr. Bo may recommend nonsurgical therapies first.

Conditions that might require spinal fusion surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure to fuse two or more vertebrae in your spine to stabilize the structure and minimize unnecessary movements.

There are several conditions that can benefit from spinal fusion surgery, including:

Dr. Bo might also recommend spinal fusion surgery if you have a severe spinal infection or a tumor that jeopardizes the stability or strength of your spine.

Many of these conditions may be treatable with nonsurgical therapies like steroid injections, oral medications, and physical therapy. Dr. Bo may recommend one or more of these pain management strategies to keep you comfortable and physically active.

However, there are reasons why you might need spinal fusion surgery sooner.

Evaluating your need for surgery

Because The Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care offices feature advanced diagnostic services, Dr. Bo can make important decisions about your treatment plan right away.

Some situations where spinal fusion surgery may be your only treatment option might involve:

Dr. Bo can take X-rays or MRI scans of your spine right in the office to determine the urgency of your condition. He focuses on preserving your mobility and long-term spine health when creating your treatment plan.

What to expect from spinal fusion surgery

During spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Bo uses minimally invasive and robotic surgery techniques to access the damaged or weak vertebrae in your spine. He might take an approach like:

Anterior approach

An anterior approach involves making an incision in your lower abdomen to reach vertebrae in your lumbar (lower) spine.

Posterior approach

A posterior approach requires an incision in your back to reach your cervical (upper) or lumbar vertebrae.

Lateral approach

The lateral approach involves an incision in the side of your body to access your spine.

Dr. Bo uses a bone graft from another part of your body to fuse two or more of your vertebrae together. He can also use donor bone for your surgery. You might also need pins, screws, or other medical-grade devices to hold the graft in place.

What happens after spinal fusion surgery

Over time, the graft will fuse to your natural bone to add strength and stability to your spine. You might experience less range of motion in your spine than before your surgery. However, a spinal fusion can provide long-lasting relief of pain.

After your surgery, we provide complete aftercare services to support your recovery. Dr. Bo can help you manage your pain with medications. He also refers you to physical therapy to help you heal fully and regain your mobility.

Call The Institute of Comprehensive Spine Care near you to find out if you’re a candidate for spinal fusion surgery or book an appointment online today.

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