Spinal fusion supports and stabilizes your spine after surgery for herniated discs and spinal stenosis (a narrowed spinal canal). Stepan Kasimian, MD, and his colleagues at HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics are experts in spinal fusion. The practice has convenient offices in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California, where patients receive expert advice on the benefits of fusion surgery for back and neck pain. Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to see how spinal fusion can help you.
Spinal fusion stabilizes your spine following surgery. It permanently joins two or more vertebrae (bones) to strengthen your spinal column. Spinal fusion usually follows a discectomy, where your surgeon removes a herniated disc.
You might also benefit from fusion after decompression surgery for spinal stenosis (a narrowed spinal canal). During decompression, your surgeon removes small pieces of bone from the vertebrae to make room for your spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
Removing herniated discs or pieces of bone destabilizes your spine. Fusion surgery overcomes this problem.
Your surgeon might do spinal fusion under a general anesthetic or a local anesthetic and sedative. Your HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics surgeon removes the disc or bone and inserts a fusion cage into your spine.
The fusion cage supports bone grafts inserted along the back and side of the vertebrae. Bone grafts might come from another part of your body or a donor. The bone graft connects the vertebra above and below the space, promoting new bone growth.
Some patients require additional stabilization using rods and screws. Over time, the new bone permanently fuses the vertebrae.
HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics surgeons are highly skilled in performing several kinds of spinal fusion, including:
ALIF accesses the spine from the front of your body (anterior).
PLIF accesses the spine from the back of your body (posterior).
Minimally invasive techniques avoid the large incisions necessary in traditional spinal fusion surgery. For example, transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) requires a single small incision in your back. Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF), oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF), and extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) all use small incisions in your sides.
Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgeries can be done on an outpatient basis, but traditional open operations require a short hospital stay. Recovery from minimally invasive procedures is usually significantly faster.
After you recover from surgery, you'll begin physical therapy. Physical therapy is necessary to help you regain spinal strength and function following fusion surgery.
Call HAAS Spine & Orthopaedics today or book an appointment online to learn more about spinal fusion and how it can relieve your long-term back or neck pain.