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Lumbar Fusion

A spinal fusion surgery is designed to stop motion at a painful vertebral segment, which in turn should decrease pain generated from the joint.

There are many approaches to lumbar spinal fusion surgery, and all involve the following process:

  • Adding bone graft to a segment of the spine
  • Setting up a biological response causing the bone graft to grow between the two vertebral elements to create a bone fusion
  • The bone fusion – which results in one fixed bone replacing a mobile joint – stops the motion at that joint segment

A lumbar fusion may be the desired treatment for patients with the following conditions, if abnormal and excessive motion at a vertebral segment results in severe pain and inability to function:

  • Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Lumbar Spondylolisthesis (occuring when spondylolysis weakens one of the vertebrae so much that the bone slips out of place)

Other conditions that may be treated by a spinal fusion surgery include a weak or unstable spine (caused by infections or tumors), fractures, scoliosis, or deformity.