What Is Spinal Fusion and What Are the Benefits?

More than 16 million people in the United States suffer from chronic back pain. Many of these people endure the pain while trying to maintain a normal routine. Depending on the type of condition causing the back pain, a doctor may suggest spinal fusion to alleviate it.

Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure that involves fusing two or more vertebrae together to increase stability and eliminate movement between troublesome vertebrae. Our Anderson treatment center doctors may suggest a spinal fusion if you are suffering from chronic pain caused by certain spinal conditions.

Why Choose Spinal Fusion?

Spinal fusion helps create stability in the spine, relieve pain, correct deformities, and address several spinal conditions. Doctors may choose to perform a spinal fusion if you experience chronic back pain from one or more of these conditions:

The goal of spinal fusion surgery is to create a solid bone structure and restore function – ultimately enhancing the quality of life and reducing further discomfort.

Benefits of Spinal Fusion Surgery

Opting for a spinal fusion surgery comes with many benefits, especially if you have suffered from chronic back pain for an extended period of time. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Pain relief: Spinal fusion can help relieve pain that has been caused by an unstable or weakened spine.
  • Improved range of motion and function: Spinal fusion surgery can help improve the range of motion and functionality of the spine.
  • Preventing further damage: By stabilizing the affected area of the spine, spinal fusion adds an additional layer of support to an unstable spine.

Spinal fusion can treat some causes of back pain.

How to Prepare for Spinal Fusion Surgery

If one of our Anderson injury treatment center doctors determines that spinal fusion is necessary, there are steps that must be taken to prepare for the day of surgery. These preparations are intended to help the procedure and subsequent healing time go much easier.

  1. Meet with your surgeon: Your surgeon will meet with you to discuss your procedure and the potential risks and complications ahead of time. They will also answer any questions you might have.
  2. Get your bloodwork completed: Before the surgery date, bloodwork will be necessary to ensure that the body is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia and the surgical procedure.
  3. Quit smoking: Smoking can increase the risk of complications after surgery, so quitting before surgery can reduce this risk.
  4. Lose weight: Overweight and obese individuals are at a higher risk for spinal strain, especially after surgery. Losing weight prior to the operation can help reduce this risk.

What to Expect During Spinal Fusion Surgery

One of the most popular questions that Injury Medicine’s treatment center receives from patients is about what to expect during spinal fusion surgery. To ensure that each patient is comfortable, we offer complete transparency about the procedure.

During the Surgery

During the surgical procedure, patients are given general anesthesia to put them to sleep during surgery. The surgeon will make an incision and expose the affected vertebrae for the fusion. The surgeon will then remove the damaged tissue and fuse the vertebrae together using a bone graft or metal implant.

After Surgery

Patients can expect to stay in the hospital for a couple of days after surgery. As a precaution, a back brace is worn for several weeks after surgery to help protect the surgical site and keep the back stabilized. Plenty of rest will be needed after surgery – no strenuous activities or over-exertion as this may cause damage to the fused area.

Contact Injury Medicine’s Anderson Treatment Center

No one likes hearing that they need to have a surgical procedure. However, if you have been living with chronic back pain, spinal fusion surgery may be a corrective option.

Contact our Anderson treatment center to be evaluated by our skilled medical staff.

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