The Medical Advantage of Spinal Fusion Surgery
When a spine specialist recommends a spinal fusion surgery for a felt and chronic back pain, it is, basically, to stop the constant and painful movements of two bone vertebrae clashing against each other, affecting nearby nerves, ligaments, and even muscles, thus causing so much discomfort, such that with spinal fusion surgery, the two bone vertebrae will be fused by joining two or more vertebrae into one single structure, so that they will be prevented from moving like they used to. A spine specialist will definitely ask the patient to undergo a series of tests first to fully determine the accurate cause of the back pain and, generally, spinal fusion surgery is recommended for the following causes: degenerative disk disease which is a situation where the space between the spinal disks are already narrow such that they are almost rubbing on each other; a broken spinal bone or fracture; a scoliosis abnormality which is when the spinal curves grow to one side; narrowing of the spinal canal or called spinal stenosis; a tumor growth on the spinal column which can cause a spinal infection; or the shifting movement of a spinal disk which in medicine is known as spondylolisthesis.
Spinal fusion surgery is a delicate form of surgery and must be performed by an experienced and trained spinal specialist and, in this connection, there are two ways for a spinal surgeon to perform the surgery: one, by way of operating through the belly, anterior lumbar inter-body fusion, and the other, by way of posterior fusion, which is operating directly from the back, thus when the surgeon has thoroughly discussed the manner of surgery to the patient, after incision, he sets aside to the side part the muscles and other organs to go further down and see and inspect the spine and starts removing the joints found between the damaged spinal disks and replaces these with any of the following methods: using screws, rods, or bone graft which is taken from either the hip or pelvis and, at the same time, inserts a bone morphogenetic protein to stimulate bone growth of the newly-replaced joints. Since the risk of complications may set in after surgery, surgeons are responsible of discussing these risks first to their patients before an operation is scheduled, so everything is clear and well understood by their patients, and these possible risks are blood clots, bleeding, infection, after surgery pain, risk from anesthesia, and other potential problems, such as nerve injury causing numbness; complications of tissue rejection and infection, if the bone grafted is from a donor; and, worst, if the spinal fusion surgery does not work accordingly and the back pain returns.