Lumbar fusion surgery is a valuable tool in the field of orthopaedic care and is sometimes the only way to prevent disease or injury from causing life-altering pain for patients.
In a lumbar fusion procedure, your surgeon uses bone grafts or implant hardware to kick-start your body’s natural bone healing processes, forming a fixed link between two lumbar vertebrae. This link fuses the vertebrae, stopping motion in the joint to prevent further pain and tissue damage.
A lumbar fusion requires a bone graft to serve as the foundation for the bone regrowth. In some cases, a sliver of bone is removed from elsewhere in your body, typically the hip. Modern techniques use synthetic graft material to prevent the need for additional grafting procedures and to help provide a more reliable outcome.
Once the graft is placed, your body naturally grows bone material over the area, freezing the joint to complete the process.
How Can a Lumbar Fusion Help?
Lumbar fusions are used in a variety of conditions whose chief problem is damaged or painful movement between one or more vertebrae joints. While each fusion involves two vertebrae, only one actual joint is being frozen, so the vertebrae can move normally on the side that isn’t fused. In this way, your treatment can be precisely targeted to affect only the specific joint that’s damaged while allowing the normal range of motion in other areas of your spinal column.
Lumbar fusions are often used to treat these conditions:
- Spinal stenosis, where your spinal canal is narrowed abnormally
- Degenerative disk disease, where the lubricating discs between your vertebrae are narrowed or damaged
- Scoliosis, where your spine curves abnormally
- Spondylolisthesis, where a spinal disc is shifted forward in the spinal column
- Fracture involving one or more vertebrae
Lumbar Fusions at Alabama Orthopaedic Surgeons
We understand that spinal surgery is a very delicate, precise process and usually one component of a larger, more complicated treatment program. Accordingly, we’ve worked hard to develop the most modern practices that rely on minimally invasive techniques, like microscopic surgery. These techniques reduce the trauma to your body during the procedure so you recover more quickly than with traditional techniques.
We specialize in lumbar fusion surgeries and have developed a robust protocol to ensure your safety and comfort, which helps you heal as fast as possible.