Spinal Fusion Procedure

Spinal Fusion Procedure and Recover Time

In many spinal surgeries, two or more vertebral bones are permanently joined with a technique called spinal fusion to create a solid bone mass to stabilize the spine.

After anesthesia is administered, the surgeon makes an incision in your skin. The tissues are gently moved aside to create a path to your spine. If the fusion is being performed as part of a procedure to relieve pressure on spinal nerves, the spine may need to be modified. The surgeon may remove part or all of the lamina from one or more vertebrae. Removing this bone creates more space for the spinal nerves. If bony growths are pressing against nerves, the surgeon removes these as well.

To create the fusion, the surgeon uses bone graft. This graft can be taken from the hip or a donor. The surgeon removes some bone from the surface of your vertebrae to create a bed where this graft can grow.

The surgeon stabilizes the spine by implanting hardware to lock the vertebrae together. Finally, the graft is placed against your vertebrae.

Once the procedure is complete, the incision is closed. A brace could be used to support the spine. In the weeks after the surgery, new bone grows and attaches securely to the spine. This creates a permanent fusion. Physical therapy may be needed to help heal.

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