Spinal Fusion is a surgical procedure which removes pathology and stabilizes the spine using hardware and/or bone grafts. The procedure takes approximately two to eight hours, depending upon how extensive the surgery is. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia by an orthopedic surgeon, or a neurosurgeon.
There are a variety of problems associated with unstable conditions of the spine that would cause you to consider spinal fusion. In addition to pain and/or numbness, you may experience narrowing of the spinal canal, weakness, sensory loss, or loss of sphincter or sexual function. In most cases, the surgery may allow you to enjoy improved lifestyle marked with decreased pain and a more stable spine.
Prior to this procedure, many patients are treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS, such as ibuprofen) and physical therapy.
After the procedure, many patients feel immediate pain relief and are usually walking by the morning following surgery. Most are discharged home in three to five days.