Whether you suffered an injury, or your back pain has been hanging around for some time, you need to get treatment to achieve relief. However, when conservative measures fail, spinal fusion may be the answer to your pain.
At the The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre, located in Woodlands, Texas, our team of experts helps you get lasting relief from your back pain. Our orthopedic specialists, can determine whether you’re a good candidate for spinal fusion surgery.
Understanding spinal fusion surgery
Your spine is a complex part of your body; it’s designed to not only give you shape and movement, but protect your spinal cord as well. The vertebrae are the bones that make up your spine, and in between each vertebrae is a cushion called an intervertebral disc.
The discs provide support and shock absorption for your spine, while the vertebrae provide protection and stability. When injury or disease compromise any of these parts, your spine becomes unstable and painful.
A spinal fusion is a type of surgery designed to improve stability by permanently connecting two or more vertebrae to stop motion in that part of your spine.
When you undergo a spinal fusion, our team removes damaged tissue or bone from between the affected vertebrae to make room for a bone graft or synthetic material that fills the space between the problematic vertebrae and limits motion.
Our team may also insert plates, screws, or metal rods into the two or more vertebrae he’s fusing together. This allows the vertebrae to heal into one solid unit, which limits motion, creates more stability in that area of your spine, and stops pain.
When do you need a spinal fusion?
Because spinal fusion surgery is invasive, it’s usually one of the last options for pain relief. Our team may consider this procedure if your pain continues even after several attempts at conservative treatments.
This treatment may be necessary if your pain is so severe that it’s affecting your daily living, decreasing your functionality as well as causing discomfort.
Some chronic problems in your spine also make you a good candidate for spinal fusion surgery. These conditions may lead to persistent pain that’s difficult to relieve with nonsurgical approaches. Spinal fusion may be warranted if you have any of the following conditions:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal instability
- Spinal weakness from tumors
- Vertebral fractures
- Spinal stenosis
A spinal fusion may also help if you have scoliosis that causes pain in your spine. This treatment can reduce your pain by decreasing movement in problematic areas of your vertebrae.
Because spinal fusion surgery is invasive, it requires considerable recovery time along with physical therapy to help strengthen your spine. Our team discusses all the risks and expectations before scheduling you for this procedure.
Ultimately, the decision to undergo spinal fusion surgery depends on your overall health, the condition that’s causing vertebral problems, and the ability of other treatments to ease your discomfort.
If you're suffering from severe back pain, don't hesitate to call our team at the The Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre team at (281) 367-0400 or book an appointment online today.