Why Is Lumbar Fusion an Effective Spinal Treatment Procedure?

Lumbar fusion, also known as spinal fusion, is a surgical procedure that permanently alleviates chronic pain in your lower back. It involves joining two or more vertebrae of the spinal region to treat an injury, correct a deformity, or limit the vertebrae’s motion. The lumbar fusion procedure is only done as an alternative treatment option after other conservative treatments have failed. Do you have chronic back pain issues even after receiving other conservative treatments? You can talk to a lumbar fusion Bethlehem specialist to help you get long-lasting pain relief for your lower back. Here is everything you need to know about lumbar fusion and its effectiveness in treating chronic back pain.

What does a lumbar fusion procedure involve?

Lumbar fusion involves adding a bone graft material to the interlocking bones that form the spine to provide strength, stability, and relief for your lower back pain. It is a minimally invasive procedure that mimics broken bones’ normal healing. 

The bone graft material used to fuse your spinal vertebrae can be removed from a bone bank or a part of your body, particularly from the pelvic region. However, with more artificial bone graft material options, your doctor can help you choose the one you want rather than using your bone from your body.

What types of bone grafts are used for lumbar fusion?

Various bone grafts, including those from a patient’s body, synthetic materials, or a bone bank, are used. They include:

  • Autograft: Lumbar fusion might use an autograft from the patient’s body to treat chronic pain in your lower back. It also has a higher success rate since the patient’s body rarely rejects it.
  • Allograft: These are donated bones that come from a bone bank rather than a patient’s tissues. They may, however, take much longer to fuse with the patient’s body.
  • Synthetic graft: This type of graft is artificially produced and made of different prosthetic materials to allow the growth and healing of your spinal vertebrae.

Your doctor might also use additional components such as screws, rods, or metal plates to connect and fuse the vertebrae. 

Which conditions does lumbar fusion treat?

Lumbar fusion treats various spinal or lower back conditions to improve stability, treat degeneration, and more. Several additional spinal-related issues can be corrected using a lumbar fusion procedure.

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Fractured or broken vertebrae
  • Spinal tumors
  • Spinal deformities 
  • Severe spinal arthritis

What can you expect during a lumbar fusion procedure?

Before a lumbar fusion surgery, your doctor will put you under general anesthesia before preparing the bone graft for fusion. An incision is then made on your back, and a bone graft is implanted between two vertebrae, later fused using metal, plates, screws, or rods. 

Through robotic medical technologies, your doctor ensures that the lumbar fusion process is precise and accurate, allowing optimum healing and reducing bleeding.

After the procedure

You may need to stay in a hospital for a day or two after the procedure to allow your doctor to monitor your progress closely. It may also take several months to recover from lumbar fusion surgery. However, if you experience fever, swelling, or infections, call your doctor immediately as it may lead to other fatal conditions. You may also need braces to keep your spine aligned to accelerate healing.

Do not struggle with chronic back pain when lumbar fusion from Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center may offer the best solution for your condition. Do not hesitate to call their offices through the contact information provided on the website or book an appointment online.