What is a Lumbar Fusion?
A lumbar fusion surgery is a procedure that can be performed to relieve back pain symptoms. It is most often used to repair damage caused by degenerative diseases of the spine, such as disc herniation, disc disorder, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and spondylolysis. In order to complete the procedure, surgeons will use bone grafts or bone-stimulating proteins to stimulate the growth of new bone tissue between two vertebrae.
Fusing two vertebrae together is a common surgery that is often used to fix back pain. By fixing two bones in the back, it limits motion between two bones that are causing pain while also creating more stability. As part of a patient’s recovery from spinal surgery, physical therapy is crucial. Because physical therapy can help in the recovery process, it should be included as part of the recovery process.
Why Is Lumbar Fusion Performed?
Spinal fusion is used to relieve chronic pain that interferes with everyday activities. The procedure can be recommended in patients who have failed nonsurgical options, and have years of severe pain despite previous medical treatment.
This could be used for conditions such as the following:
- spinal instability due to arthritis or other degenerative diseases;
- spinal deformity, such as curvature or rounding of the spine;
- vertebral fractures that result in instability issues.
How Are Lumbar Fusions Performed?
Dr. Callewart will select a specific technique to fuse the spine, depending on each patient’s individual needs. He also will consider the location of the spine that is being fused. In order to safely visualize the patient’s spine, an incision will be made over the affected area. The incision may be made in the anterior (front of the body) or posterior (back of the body) area. If a posterior approach is taken, the doctor will use a camera to see and treat your spine clearly.
In order to safely visualize the patient’s spine, an incision will be made over the affected area. The incision may be made in the anterior (front of the body) or posterior (back of the body) area. If a posterior approach is taken, the doctor will use a camera to see and treat your spine clearly.
What Should I Expect After a Lumbar Fusion?
Strenuous physical activity, such as lifting heavy weights and twisting your body in ways it wasn’t meant to twist, is not recommended during the first several weeks after injury.
Physical therapy can help aid recovery and prevent future injuries, but for now you should avoid participating in any activities that cause pain or discomfort in the lower back or upper extremities
Frequently Asked Questions About Lumbar Fusions
1. Who Should Get a Lumbar Fusion?
Patients with chronic back pain that cannot be managed through nonsurgical treatments should be recommended for spinal fusion surgery. Spinal fusion surgery is an effective way to treat a variety of herniated discs or vertebrae conditions, including degenerative disc disease, or lumbar spinal stenosis.