Lumbar Fusion is a spinal procedure in which the vertebrae in the lower back (or lumbar spine) are surgically joined together, minimizing any movement of the vertebrae themselves. With many types of back injuries, pain occurs when the vertebrae shift and move against each other – so a lumbar fusion can help relieve pain by minimizing movement within the spinal column.
The main objective of the lumbar fusion is to decrease any back pain or discomfort. The procedure can also provide the patient increased stability and support to the spinal area.
Lumbar Fusion permanently joins two vertebrae together to reduce spine pain during daily activities.
A doctor or back specialist may recommend a spinal fusion surgery for patients with the following symptoms:
The main technique used in a lumbar fusion surgery is bone grafting, which fuses the vertebrae together naturally. Bone grafts supports can be artificial or taken from another area of an individual’s body, like a hip. The graft is a temporary measure of holding the vertebrae, and that the natural fusion of the vertebrae typically takes several months.
Patients typically stay in the hospital for 3-4 days following their spinal surgery, with pain medication provided to make the post-op period as comfortable as possible. The recovery period is similar to that of a bone fracture – you’ll be asked to restrict your activity levels for 6 weeks or until x-rays can show new bone growth over the bone graft. Each person’s body is different, and every patient will have a different experience with their recovery period.
Many patients can increase their activity level once a substantial amount of bone has grown, usually after 3-4 months in a younger patient or up to 4-6 months in an older patient. Your surgeon may recommend a brace and post-operative rehab exercises.
At the New Jersey Neck and Back Institute, our objective is getting our patients results that allow them to live happy, pain-free lives. Treatment for back pain can be hard to fully understand and navigate on your own.
When our patients first come through the door,