Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that involves permanently joining two or more vertebrae in the spine. Spinal fusion aims to stabilize the spine, reduce pain, and improve overall function. Las Vegas spinal fusion is performed on patients with spinal instability, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, scoliosis, or other spinal deformities.
Spinal fusion is a major surgery that typically requires a hospital stay of several days. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and can take several hours. Recovery time can vary depending on the individual. Still, most patients can expect to wear a back brace for several weeks and avoid heavy lifting and other strenuous activities for several months.
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with spinal fusion, including infection, bleeding, nerve damage, and failure to achieve fusion. In some cases, additional surgery may be needed to correct complications.
Reasons your doctor may recommend spinal fusion
There are several reasons why a doctor may recommend spinal fusion surgery. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Spinal instability: Spinal instability occurs when the bones and ligaments of the spine become weakened or damaged, leading to abnormal motion or alignment of the vertebrae. Spinal fusion surgery can stabilize the spine by fusing the affected vertebrae and preventing further movement.
- Degenerative disc disease: Degenerative disc disease is when the discs between the vertebrae wear down over time, causing pain, inflammation, and reduced mobility. Spinal fusion surgery can help alleviate pain and restore function by stabilizing the affected area and preventing further degeneration.
- Spinal stenosis: Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal canal narrows, putting pressure on the nerves that run through it. Spinal fusion surgery can help relieve pressure on the affected nerves by opening up the space within the spinal canal.
- Scoliosis: It is a condition where the spine curves to the side, causing pain, deformity, and difficulty breathing. Spinal fusion surgery can help correct the curvature of the spine and prevent further progression of the condition.
- Spinal fractures: Spinal fractures can occur due to trauma or osteoporosis and can cause severe pain and instability. Spinal fusion surgery can help stabilize the affected area and promote healing.
- Failed back surgery syndrome: Failed back surgery syndrome is a condition where a previous spinal surgery did not relieve or result in new symptoms. Spinal fusion surgery can be a revision surgery to correct the previous surgery and provide relief.
How to prepare for spinal fusion
Preparing for spinal fusion surgery is important in ensuring a successful outcome. Here are some steps that may be taken to prepare for spinal fusion:
- Medical evaluation: Before the surgery, your doctor will thoroughly evaluate your overall health and identify potential risk factors. This may involve blood tests, imaging studies, and other diagnostic tests.
- Medications: Your doctor may recommend stopping certain medications before the surgery, such as blood thinners or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as they can increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery.
- Smoking: If you smoke, your doctor may recommend quitting before the surgery, as smoking can interfere with healing and increase the risk of complications.
If you want to consider spinal fusion, speak to your doctor at McNulty Spine.