Spine/Backbone Surgery

A spinal surgery is designed to stop the motion at a painful vertebral segment, which in turn should decrease pain generated from the joint.

There are many approaches to lumbar spinal fusion surgery, and all involve the following process:

Adding bone graft to a segment of the spine
Set up a biological response that causes the bone graft to grow between the two vertebral elements to create a bone fusion
The boney fusion – which results in one fixed bone replacing a mobile joint – stops the motion at that joint segment

Spondylolisthesis Symptoms and Causes Video
Spondylolisthesis Video

For patients with the following conditions, if abnormal and excessive motion at a vertebral segment results in severe pain and inability to function, a lumbar fusion may be considered:

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
Lumbar Spondylolisthesis (isthmic, degenerative, or postlaminectomy spondylolisthesis)

Other conditions that may be treated by a spinal fusion surgery include a weak or unstable spine (caused by infections or tumors), fractures, scoliosis, or deformity.

Spinal is, also called spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, is a neurosurgical or orthopedic surgical technique that joins two or more vertebrae. This procedure can be performed at any level in the spine (cervical, thoracic, or lumbar) and prevents any movement between the fused vertebrae. There are many types of spinal fusion and each technique involves using bone grafting – either from the patient (autograft), donor (allograft), or artificial bone substitutes – to help the bones heal together. Additional hardware (screws, plates, or cages) is often used to hold the bones in place while the graft fuses the two vertebrae together.

Spinal fusion is most commonly performed to relieve the pain and pressure on the spinal cord that results when a disc (cartilage between two vertebrae) wears out (degenerative disc disease). Other common pathological conditions that are treated by spinal fusion include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, spondylosis, spinal fractures, scoliosis, and kyphosis.

Like any surgery, complications may include infection, blood loss, and nerve damage.Fusion also changes the normal motion of the spine and results in more stress on the vertebrae above and below the fused segments. As a result, long-term complications include degeneration at these adjacent spine segments.