What to Expect When Undergoing Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery involves the use of a bone graft or a bone-like material to connect two or more vertebrae. This procedure can be done anywhere along the spine to treat pain, degenerative diseases, and deformities of the spine.

At the Institute for Comprehensive Spine Care, we can help you heal your spine using a minimally invasive procedure with reduced downtime and less discomfort. Dr. Gbolahan Okubadejo may recommend spinal fusion surgery to patients who don’t respond well to physical therapy or epidural injections.

Below, we explain what you can expect during and after spinal fusion surgery.

Before and during the surgery 

During the two weeks leading up to the surgery, you’ll be asked to stop smoking and stop taking certain medications, such as birth control pills and blood thinners.

Along with this, you’ll need to bring a list of all the medications and supplements (including herbal) that you’re taking. You’ll then undergo a series of tests and get a physical examination for surgical clearance.

During the procedure, Dr. Okubadejo inserts bone grafts or bone-like materials between the vertebrae that need to be fused. He then uses metal plates and screws to hold the vertebrae in place.

High satisfaction rates

A study that looked at patients who underwent spinal fusion reported high satisfaction rates in over 90% of participating patients.

Another study that looked at the long-term success of spinal fusion for lower back pain found that patients who underwent spinal fusion were happier with their results compared with those who opted for physical therapy instead.

The ideal candidate for spinal fusion

Not everyone is a good candidate for spinal fusion surgery. You may need to make a few lifestyle changes to qualify for the procedure.

The ideal candidate is at a healthy weight, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t consume alcohol regularly. They should also be willing to spend some time in physical therapy following the procedure. 

Spinal fusion with less downtime and fewer risks 

In the past, spinal fusion surgery involved large incisions, and it required medical professionals to pull the muscles apart to reach the spinal cord. With a procedure like this, there’s a high risk for bleeding and muscle damage due to retraction. 

However, Dr. Okubadejo uses smaller incisions and powerful microscopes during a spinal fusion procedure to lower the risks for complications and reduce downtime. 

If you’re experiencing pain, weakness, or instability in your spine, contact Dr. Okubadejo to find out if you’re a good candidate for spinal fusion. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

The Many Benefits of Physical Therapy

If you’re planning to undergo surgery, you can expect part of your recovery plan to include physical therapy. Learn how physical therapy can speed up your recovery process and boost your overall wellness.

Who Can Benefit from a Spinal Fusion?

Chronic back pain from scoliosis, spinal stenosis, and other conditions can interfere with your quality of life. When no other treatments are working for you, you might benefit from a spinal fusion surgery.

Understanding the Different Types of Pain

Do you suffer from recurring pain? Pain is the primary reason people seek medical treatment. Learn more about the differences between the classifications of pain and how pain management can help you find relief.

Solutions for Your Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common side effect of muscle strains but if your pain isn’t going away, you might have a more serious condition that needs medical intervention. Learn why your neck might be hurting and what solutions are available to treat it.

Conditions that Can Benefit from Spinal Fusion

A spinal fusion can significantly improve your quality of life after an injury or because of a degenerative disease. Find out what conditions may qualify you for a spinal fusion surgery to relieve chronic pain and immobility.

When to Get Professional Help for Your Lower Back Pain

If you wait too long to treat persistent lower back pain, you may be missing out on the opportunity to protect your lumbar spine. Learn more about the right time to seek help for lower back pain and which treatments can prevent the need for surgery.