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Lumbar Fusion Surgery – Spinal Surgeries

Lumbar Fusion SurgeryWhat is lumbar fusion surgery?

Lumbar fusion surgery avoids the movement at a painful, unstable spinal joint. When the specialist links together (fuse) two or more vertebrae, he is trying to achieve this in that portion of the spine. Patients experience pain relief when surgeons accomplish the stabilization of a segment of the spine.

The surgeon uses specialised spinal instruments (screws, rods, plates) to immobilize the spine. This will allow hastening the healing process. The aforementioned instrumentation serves as an internal splint.

This surgical procedure applies in cases of spinal vertebrae injuries, protrusion and degeneration of the discs, curvature of the spine, or a weak spine (caused by injections or tumours).

 

When do surgeons recommend it?

Specialists consider surgery in the following cases:

  • Painkillers, rest, exercises and injections have not been effective.
  • It is very probable some serious complications involving the nerves if it´s not treated.
  • When the pain in the back, hips, buttocks and legs is affecting negatively your normal life.

The main goal of the surgery is to diminish the pain in the lower back and legs.

How is the procedure?

This surgery requires an anterior (from the front) approach or a posterior (from the back) approach. Your specialist is the one who will determine which option is best in your case. General anaesthesia and demand a minimum one night stay in hospital are necessary for both procedures.

 

Anterior approach

This method initiates with a 10-12 cm incision in the abdomen. Since the objective is reaching the front of the lumbar spine, a vascular surgeon carefully moves aside organs and blood vessels. A specialist eliminates the degenerate discs, and then a spacer replaces it.

The spacer might be a fusion cage or a prosthetic disc replacement. If a cage is used, it is filled with synthetic bone material, and then placed into disc space. The cage holds the upper and lower vertebra tightly together, while the bone material helps to fuse it all together. In order to keep it all secure and stable screws may also be fixed in place.

The anterior approach represents a little higher risk of complication, but it usually provides a better result and faster healing time.

 

Posterior approach

This method initiates with a 10-12 cm incision in back. In order to reach the spine, the surgeon has to cut through many layers of muscle. A specialist eliminates the degenerate discs, and then a spacer replaces it.

The spacer might be a fusion cage or a prosthetic disc replacement. If a cage is used, it is filled with synthetic bone material, and then placed into disc space. The cage holds the upper and lower vertebra tightly together, while the bone material helps to fuse it all together. In order to keep it all secure and stable screws may also be fixed in place.

At The London Spine Unit, The Harley Street Hospital, we have some of the best specialists to perform these procedures. Book an appointment to get a check up.

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The Harley Street Hospital

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