A Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that aims to fuse together parts of the spine to make them more stable and relieve pressure. This procedure can occur in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine.
What is it?
A Fusion is a procedure of the spine that is performed in order to “fuse” together two adjacent vertebrae of the spine so that they are unable to move. These fusion procedures can be done on the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of the spine, depending on the area that the pain occurs.
What should I do to prepare?
You should consult with your doctor in order to determine the best-individualized preparation plan prior to your surgery. This procedure typically requires general anesthesia, so you should follow the general guidelines for surgery involving general anesthesia, including refraining from eating or drinking the night prior to surgery and avoiding certain medications.
What happens during the process?
The exact surgical technique for the procedure depends on the area of the spine that is being operated on. The general procedure consists of first creating an incision and removing the affected areas. Bone grafts are then inserted into the area that is to be fused. Pins and other forms of hardware may need to be used in addition to this to hold the vertebrae together. Over time, the vertebrae fuse together and grow over the bone graft.
What are the risks and potential complications?
Risks from this surgery may include infection, poor wound healing, bleeding, blood clots, injuries to blood vessels and nerves around the spine, and pain. There is also the chance that the vertebrae will not fuse properly and can cause instability.
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