Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure performed to join two or more vertebrae in the spine to create stability, decompress the spinal cord/nerve roots and reduce pain. This is commonly performed using hardware (plates, screws, rods, etc) to stabilize the spine long enough to allow the bones to fuse. The goal of spinal fusion is to promote the fusion of adjacent vertebrae, essentially turning them into a single, solid bone. This procedure is often recommended for various spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal instability, spondylolisthesis, spinal deformities, fractures, and certain types of spinal tumors.

These procedures can be performed in the cervical spine (neck), thoracic spine (mid-back), or lumbar spine (lower back). In the neck, the surgery can be performed from the front (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion aka ACDF) or the back. In the thoracic or lumbar spine this procedure can be performed from the front, the back or the side (lateral approach). Each surgical approach has certain advantages and disadvantages. The most suitable surgical approach varies depending on a multitude of factors such as the goals of surgery, the number of levels involved, the patient’s alignment, bone quality, etc. Dr Elia takes the time to review all the factors involved to formulate the most suitable treatment option for each person’s specific needs.

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