Spinal stabilization of the lumbar spine is necessary for many different reasons, but the primary goal is to provide strength and stability through the elimination of motion. Fusion creates a single bony unit out of two or more vertebras, and eliminates all motion in the sections. It can be necessary for a variety of different patients, including those with scoliosis and kyphosis, those suffering from spondylitis, degenerative disc disease and serious herniated discs that cannot be saved. To find out of spinal stabilization is right for you, contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health. Call Call407-303-5452 for an appointment.
Why Fuse the Spine?
For many patients facing spinal fusion, the first question they ask is why is it necessary. There’s a simple answer – fusion is the only way to achieve spinal stabilization. Without this stabilization and rigidity, back problems can worsen very quickly. Over just a short period of time, symptoms can go from back pain to difficulty walking. In some situations, patients can also lose control of their bowels. Those suffering from kyphosis or scoliosis can also see continued curving of the spine.
How Is Fusion Achieved?
Spinal stabilization is achieved through fusion using one of a variety of different techniques. However, all of them require surgery, though most no longer involve open surgery. Instead, Dr. Chetan Patel will use minimally invasive techniques that do not disrupt the patient’s soft tissues. This provides a considerable reduction in healing and recovery times, as well as a lower chance of developing a spinal infection.
In all fusion situations at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health, Dr. Patel will enter the spine and remove the damage disc to relieve spinal compression. Once the disc is removed and any debris is cleaned from the canal (and any bone spurs are removed), the fusion process begins. It starts with the placement of bone graft material. This material can be the patient’s own bone from a site on their hip, or it can be donor bone or a special genetically engineered protein alternative.
After installing the bone graft, the surgeon will then install the hardware. This hardware is necessary for spinal stabilization – plates and pedicle screws are the most common solution used today, though rods and screws are also used. For patients who need to retain some movement in the area because of job responsibilities or an active lifestyle, special dynamic stabilization systems have been developed. These provide spinal stabilization, but permit some motion in the spine. As such, they are not right for everyone, and the surgeon will have to help you determine if they are applicable for your condition.
Over a period of weeks, the bone graft and vertebras will fuse together, immobilizing those areas of the spine and providing stabilization.
Is Stabilization Right For You?
The only way to determine if spine stabilization is the right course of action to treat your condition is to undergo a full consultation. Contact Dr. Chetan Patel at AdventHealth Medical Group Spine Health by calling Call407-303-5452.