Spinal fusions are surgical procedures used to correct painful spinal conditions of various kinds - the deformities of scoliosis, spinal instability such as may arise from arthritis, and so on. Essentially, spinal fusion is surgical treatment that permanently and rigidly fuses two or more vertebrae in the spine together with bone grafts, screws, plates or other means, so that the vertebrae in question no longer move with respect to one another. Once surgery successfully completes and heals, you no longer feel the pain that you used to experience when the vertebrae could move.
Spinal fusion: frequently asked questions
Who can benefit from spinal fusion surgery?
The typical candidate for such surgery struggles with at least one of these symptoms:
- Persistent, long-term pain in the back, that throbs, radiates, or shoots.
- Weakness or numbness felt in the feet.
- Radiating sciatica -- pain that originates around the lower back, and radiates down the legs.
- Pain while sitting, standing, or walking.
Your surgeon will usually only recommend spinal or lumbar fusion surgery when other conservative pain relief services -- medications and physical therapy, for example -- have been tried and found unsuccessful in helping with a painful spinal condition. Such surgical treatment is also only considered a good idea when the surgeon is able to narrow down the source of the pain experienced to a specific cause -- such as spinal stenosis, or a herniated disc.
Will I need to wear a brace following spinal fusion surgery?
Your surgeon may recommend that you wear a back brace following surgery, if multiple vertebrae need to be fused in the procedure, if you’re elderly, if you suffer from bone degeneration, diabetes or obesity. This will reduce your healing time.
What kind of complications might be involved in such surgery?
Spinal fusions rigidly connect one or more vertebral segments together. Fusion of this kind can place increased stresses and workloads on other spinal segments adjacent. Those vertebrae may experience increased wear and tear, which may lead to complications in the future. However, following doctor’s advice and observing the right kind of body mechanics when you’re active, can help ensure that these problems do not occur.
Your orthopaedic surgeon at Touch of Health can offer you expert advice for spinal fusions in Orlando (Florida).
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