Spinal Fusion

What is spinal disc fusion?

Spinal disc fusion is a surgical technique used to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in the spine. Supplementary bone tissue is used in conjunction with the body's natural bone growing processes. Or the fused area may need to be fixed with screws or rods. This procedure is used primarily to eliminate the pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae by immobilizing the vertebrae themselves. It is used to treat degenerative disk disease, herniated disk, fractures, scoliosis, spondylolisthesis — in which one vertebra slips forward over the one below it.

If one of your vertebrae has slipped over another or if you have curvature of the spine, spinal fusion may be necessary to stabilize your spine. A spinal fusion surgery involves using a bone graft to stop the motion at the segment of the spine with the painful vertebrae. Medical devices, and bone stimulator sometimes accompany this procedure.

Types of spinal disc fusion

There are many surgical approaches to performing spinal fusion including some that are minimally invasive:

  • Extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF) is a procedure during which the front part of the lumbar spine is fused from the side.
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) Surgery involves an incision from the front through the abdomen instead of through the lower back.
  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) Surgery adds bone graft to an area of the spine to encourage bone to grow between the two vertebrae and stop motion in that segment of the spine.
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF) Surgery stabilizes the vertebrae and the discs between them by creating solid bone between the adjoining vertebrae and eliminating any movement between the bones.
  • Posterolateral Gutter Fusion accesses the spine from the back through a midline incision.
  • Anterior/Posterior Fusion – Sometimes both the front and back of the spine will be fused. This procedure may be done for people with a high degree of instability from fractures.



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