Spinal fusion is a surgical treatment for back pain that doesn’t respond well to less invasive treatments. At the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas, board-certified neurosurgeon Scott Glickman, DO, FACOS, offers spinal fusion. This surgery can eliminate pain during movement or restore stability to your spine. Call the Las Vegas, Nevada, office today to learn more about spinal fusion or use the online tool to schedule a consultation.
Spinal fusion permanently joins two or more of the small bones in your spine (the vertebrae), eliminating any motion between them. Fusion is usually needed when part of all of a vertebral disc or part of a vertebra needs to be removed or remodeled.
Spinal fusion works when motion is the source of pain. Herniations or damage to the discs that cushion the space between your vertebrae put pressure on surrounding connective tissue and nerves. With spinal fusion, you remove the movement that causes the pain.
Fusion does take away some spinal flexibility, but most of the time, the procedure involves just very small segments of the spine. It doesn’t significantly affect your ability to move. You might not even notice limitations.
Dr. Glickman only recommends spinal fusion when he can identify the source of your pain using X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs.
People with these back issues might benefit from spinal fusion:
Spinal fusion is used in both the lumbar region (lower back) and in the cervical area (neck).
Dr. Glickman does a spinal fusion while you’re under general anesthesia. Several approaches to spinal fusion can be used. He uses the most advanced and appropriate spinal fusion technique for your case.
Generally, he makes an incision in your neck or back — depending on which part of the spine is to be fused. If he determines a front (anterior) approach is preferable, the incision will be made in your abdomen or throat.
A bone graft is used to fuse the vertebrae. This graft can come from donated bone or gotten from your own body, usually your pelvis.
During the fusion, Dr. Glickman places the bone graft between the vertebrae and uses metal plates or rods to hold the vertebrae while the bone graft heals.
After the procedure, expect to stay in the hospital for a few days. You’ll be in some pain, but it’s usually well controlled with medication.
If you’re ready to learn more about spinal fusion as a treatment for back pain, call the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas or use the online tool to schedule a consultation.