Spinal fusion

Spine fusion surgery involves adding material to existing bone to create one continuous bone. Bones can be fused using medical devises, such as pins, rods and stabilizers, or by using bone grafts from other bones.

Once fused, bones no longer move independently. This is helpful for reducing the pain of vertebrae that have slipped out of alignment (spondylolisthesis), or are increasing pressure on the spinal canal.

Patients with degenerative disc disease or those with isthmic, degenerative, or postlaminectomy spondylolisthesis may experience abnormal and excessive motion at a vertebral segment, resulting in pain. 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.

  • Fusion is the process of combining two adjacent vertebrae to create solid bone, thus eliminating any movement
  • In some cases, surgical rods and pins are attached to the back of the vertebra to the spine to help the fusion rate
  • A bone graft is placed in the interbody space and alongside the back of the verteba to be fused
  • As the bone graft heals, it fuses the vertebra above and below, and forms one long bone