Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that fuses two or more vertebrae in your spine together to create a single, solid bone. It is an option for people who suffer from chronic back pain, herniated discs, or injuries that have caused instability in the spine. However, it is important to consider all options and consult with an expert before deciding if spinal fusion is the right choice for your situation. In this blog, we will discuss the pros and cons of spinal fusion and when it should (and shouldn’t) be considered.
Spinal instability happens when there is instability in the spine due to a degenerative condition or injury. Spinal fusion can help by fusing vertebrae in the lower back, making them more stable.
A herniated disc is when the soft material inside the spinal disc protrudes from the outer ring and compresses the nerves. If a patient’s herniated disc is causing them pain and other symptoms, spinal fusion may be considered as an option.
Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that occurs when a vertebra slips out of place and onto the adjacent vertebra. This often results in compression of the nerves and can cause intense pain. Spinal fusion can help stabilize the area and reduce pain.
If your back pain is mild and occasional, it is usually best to start with conservative treatments such as physical therapy or pain medication. Spinal fusion should only be considered when other treatments have failed.
Spinal fusion is not recommended for people who are significantly overweight. Obesity increases the risk of complications from surgery, and it may also cause the spinal fusion to fail.
A spinal fusion that requires multiple levels of the spine to be fused can carry more risks than a single level fusion. If possible, a single level fusion should be considered before multiple levels are needed.
Spinal fusion can be an effective option for those who are suffering from certain spinal conditions, but it should only be considered after other treatment options have been explored. It is important to consult with an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spinal surgery to determine if spinal fusion is right for you. At Central Florida Bone & Joint Institute, our skilled surgeons have extensive experience treating spinal conditions with both surgical and non-surgical treatments. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free life.