Is a spinal fusion major surgery?
Yes, spinal fusion is a major surgery.
What are the different types of spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion is categorised based on if spine is fused from front(anterior) or back(posterior) or both. It is also named according to which part of spine is fused.
ACDF-Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion is done on neck part of the spine or the cervical spine
ALIF – Anterior lumbar interbody fusion is dine through the front on lumbar or lower back spine
LLIF – Lateral lumbar interbody fusion is done through side on the lower back spine
PLIF – Posterior lumbar interbody fusion is done from back at the lumbar level
TLIF – Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion is fusion of the lumbar spine through the foramen for nerves
What is the success rate of spinal fusion surgery?
More than 80% of the patients report significant relief in pain after spinal fusion surgery. More than 90% patients feel satisfied after transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) of spine.
What is the recovery time for spinal fusion surgery?
After spine fixation surgery with or without bone grafting, it takes at least 4-6 months for the bones to fuse together. Pain relief is within few days and patient can resume his/her routine activities in about 2 weeks’ time.
When can one return to work after spine fusion surgery?
A person doing desk job can return to office within a month of spine surgery. Someone doing manual labour work should avoid doing heavy work for 2-3 months.
Which is better disc replacement or fusion?
Fusion is attempt to eliminate motion at the diseased part. Some pain may remain in case of incomplete fusion. Disc replacement simulates the natural movement between the vertebrae. Disc replacement is better at eliminating pain and preserving movement.
What is life like after spinal fusion?
Life gets better after pain elimination by spinal fusion.
Can you walk after spinal fusion surgery?
One can walk few days after spinal fusion, initially few steps a day. Patient easily recovers to be able to do home activities in less than 2 weeks’ time.
What are the dangers of spinal fusion?
Apart from general risks of infection and bleeding, spinal fusion surgery may in rare case damage nerves.
Can you bend after spinal fusion surgery?
Once the fusion is confirmed on x-ray one can return to active lifestyle and can bend, lift or twist. This usually takes 6 months to one year after spine fusion.
Is there an alternative to spinal fusion?
IDET or Intradiscal electrothermal coagulation (or annuloplasty) can be attempted as an alternative measure to spinal fusion.
What happens if a spinal fusion does not fuse?
There is always possibility of delay in formation of bone between the fused vertebrae. Till the time this happens implants in the form of screws hold bones in place to facilitate fusion.
What is one-level fusion?
When one disc space is obliterated with fixing two adjacent vertebrae is one-level spinal fusion. Similarly, when two disc space is fused is called two-level spinal fusion. Multiple levels can be fused depending on the involvement of spine.
Can spinal fusion hardware/implant be removed?
Implant is designed to be left in place for lifetime in spinal fusion. It is usually not removed unless it causes some discomfort to the patient. Besides removal of implant is another major surgery and has its own associated risks.
Can spinal fusion be done minimally invasive?
With newer techniques and instrumentations, it is now possible to fuse spine through small holes in the back.
Why do so many back surgeries fail?
Improper patient evaluation and inability to find the root cause of pain is the most common reason for failed back surgery.