What Is a Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Q:
What is a spinal fusion surgery?

A:
Spinal fusion surgery is a surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are permanently joined into one solid bone with no space between them. Vertebrae are the small, interlocking bones of the spine.

In spinal fusion surgery, extra bone is used to fill the space that usually exists between the two separate vertebrae. When the bone heals, there’s no longer space between them.

Spinal fusion is also known as:

  • arthrodesis
  • anterior spinal fusion
  • posterior spinal fusion
  • vertebral interbody fusion

Spinal fusion is typically an effective treatment for certain spinal conditions. The healing process may take several months. Your symptoms and comfort level will gradually improve as you gain strength and confidence in your movements.

However, since the procedure changes how the spine works by immobilizing one portion of it, the areas above and below the fusion are at an increased risk for wear and tear. They may become painful if they deteriorate and you may experience additional problems.

Being overweight, inactive, or in poor physical condition can also put you at risk for more spinal problems. Living a healthy lifestyle, with attention to diet and regular exercise, will help you achieve the best results.

Keyword: spinal fusion; spinal fusion surgery

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