Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure. This corrects a problem with the vertebrae in the spine. It involves closing in the vertebrae which then form a single and solid bone. Doctors recommend spinal fusion only when they can center down on the cause of pain. They carry out imaging tests like X-rays and computed tomography (CT), as well as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), scans for identifying the cause of pain. Some of the medical conditions for which spinal fusion could work very well include degenerative disk disease, spondylolisthesis, and spinal stenosis.
Spinal fusion may also act as a way to heal the discomfort if one is suffering from a fracture, tumor, or an infection.
How does it work?
The underlying mechanism behind spinal fusion is halting the motion of painful vertebrae. Doctors do this to ensure that the vertebrae do not hurt. Spinal fusion also halts the stretching of nerves, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the vertebrae. The surgical procedure is very effective when motion is the cause of pain, for example, in arthritis. Spinal fusion is at times done in conjunction with decompression or laminectomy. Doctors undertake this procedure when one has leg pain along with back pain. Laminectomy is a procedure wherein a surgeon removes a part of the bone and diseased tissue. These may put pressure on spinal nerves and lead to pain.
Does spinal fusion affect one’s flexibility?
Spinal fusion may affect one’s flexibility to an extent. But fusion only involves little sections of the spine. So one’s motion is not affected to a great extent.
Bone grafting is an important procedure which forms a part of spinal fusion. A bone graft is a kind of bone material which helps promote fusion. Small pieces of bone are at times placed between the vertebrae which need fusing. By using a bone graft, one can promote healing. This increases production of bone such that the vertebrae form into a single solid bone. At times, the procedure calls for solid pieces of bone for bone grafting. This provides structural support for the vertebrae.
If you have been facing any issues with back pain, do consult your practitioner today.