If you have been advised to undergo spinal fusion surgery, you may have concerns about developing adjacent segment disease (ASD) later on. It is common to have questions about potential complications or risks associated with a major surgical procedure. Here, we will discuss what ASD is, factors that contribute to its development, and whether or not all spinal fusion patients develop it.
Adjacent Segment Disease (ASD) is a term that is used to describe the degeneration of spinal discs that are adjacent to the vertebrae that were fused during spinal surgery. Spinal fusion is a common orthopedic surgery that is performed to alleviate pain and restore function. While it is an effective treatment for many patients, spinal fusion surgery does increase the risk of developing ASD. However, not all patients will develop this condition.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of ASD after spinal fusion surgery. These include age, genetics, smoking, obesity, and the number of levels that were fused. The greater the number of levels that were fused, the greater the chance of developing ASD. However, even patients who have only undergone a single level fusion may still develop this condition.
The good news is that not all patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery will develop ASD. According to several studies, the incidence of ASD after spinal fusion surgery ranges from 5% to 100% depending on the type of surgery and other patient factors. However, the majority of patients will not develop ASD or will have only mild symptoms that do not require further treatment.
If you are concerned about the possibility of developing ASD after spinal fusion surgery, there are preventive measures that you can take. These include maintaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and engaging in regular exercise to strengthen the muscles that support your spine. Additionally, regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon can help to identify any potential issues early on.
In conclusion, while the risk of developing ASD after spinal fusion surgery is a real concern, not all patients will develop this condition. Several factors contribute to its development, but taking preventive measures and following up with your surgeon can help to minimize your risk. If you are considering spinal fusion surgery or have already undergone the procedure, be sure to discuss any concerns you may have with your healthcare provider.
In summary, as we have seen, adjacent segment disease is a real concern for patients who have undergone spinal fusion surgery. However, several factors contribute to its development, and not all patients will develop this condition. It is important to take preventive measures and follow-up regularly with your healthcare provider to minimize your risk. If you have any concerns or questions about ASD, do not hesitate to reach out to Central Florida Bone & Joint today to determine an efficient plan of action.