Five Facts on Spinal Fusion

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Your spine is the foundation of your body, keeping you strong and active. If you suffer from conditions such as scoliosis, a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, you may find relief with a procedure called spinal fusion surgery.

A spinal fusion is the permanent connection of two or more vertebrae, preventing them from moving independently, which helps to stabilize the spine and prevent unwanted friction. A fusion is done in an attempt to provide relief of pain, muscle weakness and other symptoms.

Of course, before presenting surgery as an option, AdventHealth experts would first try non-invasive treatments, such as physical therapy or medication. But when pain persists, spinal fusion surgery may be the next option.

While the thought of a spinal procedure may invoke a sense nervousness, learning more about a spinal fusion surgery can hopefully help you feel confident about the care options available to you at AdventHealth.

Where Is the Fusion Performed?

A spinal fusion can take place anywhere along the lumbar, thoracic or cervical spine (lower, mid or upper back) where movement of the vertebrae triggers pain and other symptoms.

Are Fusions Common?
More than 400,000 patients have spinal fusions every year, with lumbar fusions being the most common fusion procedure.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

In some cases, smaller procedures — such as a laminectomy that can be performed on an outpatient basis — may be considered. Patients should only have a fusion performed if smaller procedures are not a good option. However, spinal fusion surgery can be a life-changing solution for treating a number of conditions, including:

  • Deformities of the spine, such as scoliosis
  • Degenerative conditions
  • Herniated disc
  • Infection or tumors in the spine
  • Spinal fracture
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis

Who Isn’t a Good Candidate?

Smokers are proven to be poor candidates for spinal fusion surgery because smoking impairs the body's ability to heal properly. Also, patients who have arthritis throughout their lower back may not be good candidates due to the inability of their bones to fuse properly.

Why Choose to Have a Fusion?

Some chronic back pain sufferers for whom other treatments have not worked are able to obtain relief from their pain through spinal fusion.

Learn More

The spine specialists at AdventHealth are here to guide you and help you achieve the best possible care. Click here to learn more about spinal fusion surgery and find an expert to speak to about treatment solutions.

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