A lumbar spinal fusion surgery is designed to stop the motion at a painful vertebral segment, which in turn should decrease pain generated from the joint. Spinal fusion involves techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones.
During spinal fusion, your surgeon places bone or a bone-like material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid unit.
Why Spinal Fusion Surgery?
Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more vertebrae in your spine to improve stability, correct a deformity or reduce pain. Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion to treat:
- Deformities of the spine. Spinal fusion can help correct spinal deformities, such as a sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis).
- Spinal weakness or instability. Your spine may become unstable if there’s abnormal or excessive motion between two vertebrae. This is a common side effect of severe arthritis in the spine. Spinal fusion can be used to restore spinal stability in such cases.
- Herniated disk. Spinal fusion may be used to stabilize the spine after removal of a damaged (herniated) disk.
Spinal fusion surgery is generally a safe and risk-free procedure, but as with any surgery there can be risk factors.
North Carolina automobile accidents can lead to injuries that require spinal fusion surgery. Certain automobile accidents can be more severe than others (tractor-trailer accidents, head-on collisions, etc.).
After any of these accidents you should seek immediate medical attention, especially if you feel as if your injuries are severe. Seeking immediate medical attention can be beneficial to your long-term health as well.
Generally, the spinal fusion procedure involves the following:
- Incision. To gain access to the vertebrae being fused, the surgeon makes an incision in one of three locations: in your neck or back directly over your spine, on either side of your spine, or in your abdomen or throat so that your surgeon can access the spine from the front.
- Bone graft preparation. The bone grafts that fuse two vertebrae together may come from a bone bank or from your own body, usually from your pelvis. If your own bone is used, the surgeon makes an incision above your pelvic bone, removes a small portion of it and then closes the incision.
- Fusion. To fuse the vertebrae together permanently, the surgeon places the bone graft material between the vertebrae. Metal plates, screws or rods may be used to help hold the vertebrae together while the bone graft heals.
In some cases, surgeons might use a synthetic substance instead of bone grafts. These synthetic substance help promote bone growth and speed the fusion process.
A hospital stay of two to three days is usually required following spinal fusion. Depending on the location and extent of your surgery, you may experience some pain and discomfort, but the pain can usually be controlled well with medications.
After you go home, contact your doctor if you exhibit signs of infection, such as:
- Redness, tenderness or swelling
- Wound drainage
- Shaking chills
- Fever higher than 100.4 F (38 C)
It may take several months for the affected bones in your spine to heal and fuse together. Your doctor may recommend that you wear a brace for a time to keep your spine aligned correctly. Physical therapy can teach you how to move, sit and stand in proper manner that will help keep your spine properly aligned.
Representation for Spinal Fusion Surgery
If you or a loved one has been hurt in an automobile accident, you need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Maginnis Law handles North Carolina personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis – meaning that you pay no attorneys’ fees unless we reach a settlement or obtain a verdict or settlement in your case.
Maginnis Law’s lead personal injury lawyer, T. Shawn Howard, is experienced in handling complex logging truck accident cases. He is a million dollar and multi-million-dollar advocate, meaning that he has obtain settlements for his client in excess of $1,000,000 and $2,000,000. He has also been designated a Super Lawyers Rising Star every year since 2016.
You can contact the Raleigh personal injury attorneys of Maginnis Law at 919.526.0450, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our contact page.