Performed more than 400,000 times each year in the United States, spinal fusion surgery is a fairly common procedure. In a nutshell, it involves the connecting of two or more adjacent bones of the spine (vertebrae) to restore the stability of the spine. Here are 4 things you’ll need to know if you’re considering spinal fusion surgery.
1. It Is Minimally Invasive
Traditionally an open procedure, spinal fusion surgery can be successfully performed with minimally invasive techniques. Such methods include smaller incisions only a few inches in length and the use of special instruments to prevent moving large spinal muscles and increase the surgeon’s accuracy. Minimally invasive spine surgery often means:
- Less blood loss and post-op pain
- Lower risk of infection
- Faster healing and recovery times
2. It Is Sometimes the Best Treatment Option
Spinal fusion surgery can sometimes provide reliable results for some sources of chronic or severe back pain. A study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found the procedure is often beneficial for spinal stenosis and age-related wear that causes a spinal disc to slip forward over the lower one (degenerative spondylolisthesis).
3. It Won’t Eliminate All Instances of Back Pain
According to expert surgeons in Newport Beach, spinal fusion surgery doesn’t resolve every possible source of back pain. It may minimize the risk of further issues with the spine itself, but it’s not necessarily a cure-all type of surgery. Underlying conditions such as arthritis can still contribute to back pain.
4. It Often Makes It Possible to Return to a Normal Routine
Many people who have spinal fusion surgery are concerned about being able to return to their normal activities. Though some sensible modifications will be necessary to avoid re-injury, most patients are able to get back to their normal routines if healing progresses as expected.
Due to advances in technology, spinal fusion is one of the most reliable types surgery performed by a spine surgeon in Orange County, CA. Even so, there is usually no rush to make the decision to go ahead with the procedure. Take your time to get as much information as you can about your condition to determine if there are other treatment options you want to explore.
If you’d like to learn more about spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Hamid Mir M.D. can diagnose the source of your pain and determine if spinal fusion or another alternative is the best plan of action for alleviating your pain. Call (949) 688-1216 today to schedule an in-person evaluation.