Lumbar Fusion: Restoring Spine Stability

UVNN is one of the first neurosurgery practices in the area to utilize intraoperative computer-assisted imaging in lumbar fusion surgery. This approach is minimally invasive and promotes a faster recovery and lasting quality of life for our patients. 

US News and World Report has acknowledged UVNN as best-in-class  for exceptional patient care. Our surgeons remain at the forefront for advancements in lumbar fusion by utilizing modern surgical techniques and the latest medical research.

What is Lumbar Fusion?

Lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure that aims to stabilize the lumbar spine (lower back) and provide relief for patients suffering from various spinal conditions. It involves fusing two or more vertebrae together, creating a solid bone structure that reduces pain caused by movement or spinal instability. It is often recommended for conditions such as degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis, or spinal fractures.

Benefits include:

Enhanced Stability: By fusing the vertebrae together, lumbar fusion provides stability to the spine, reducing pain and improving overall spinal function.

Pain Relief: This surgery can significantly reduce chronic back pain caused by conditions such as degenerative disc disease or spinal fractures.

Improved Quality of Life: By stabilizing the spine and reducing pain, this procedure can enhance a patient’s ability to perform daily activities and improve their quality of life.

Correction of Spinal Deformities: In cases of severe spinal deformities, such as spondylolisthesis, lumbar fusion can help correct the misalignment and improve spinal alignment.

Long-Term Solution: Surgery aims to provide a long-lasting solution by promoting the fusion of vertebrae, reducing the likelihood of future instability or pain.

Symptoms of a Lumbar Disorder

  • Lower back pain that is dull, aching, or sharp and can range from mild to severe
  •  Muscle spasms in the lower back
  • Stiffness and decreased flexibility
  • Weakness in the legs or feet
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower back, buttocks, legs, or feet
  • Difficulty standing, walking, or maintaining proper posture 
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Decreased range of motion

Causes of a Lumbar Disorder

Lumbar Fusion Surgery: What to Expect

During the lumbar fusion procedure, the surgeon removes the damaged disc or a portion of the vertebra that is causing pain or instability. The space is then filled with a bone graft or an artificial spacer, which promotes the fusion of adjacent vertebrae. Over time, the fused vertebrae become one solid unit, restoring stability to the spine.

Post Operative Care

Recovery from lumbar fusion surgery typically involves a period of rest and limited physical activity. Physical therapy sessions are often prescribed to help patients regain strength and mobility in the treated area. Full recovery may take several months, and patients should follow their post operative care instructions and attend follow-up appointments with their provider to ensure a successful outcome.

Risks and Complications

As with any surgical procedure, lumbar fusion carries some risk and potential complications. Though complications are rare, patients should discuss these risks with their surgeon and address any concerns prior to surgery.

Risk may include: 

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve or spinal cord injury
  • Blood clots
  • Adjacent level degeneration
  • Failed back syndrome, or the recurrence of spinal instability