Understanding lumbar back surgery and spinal fusion

A fairly common type of lumbar back surgery is spinal fusion. This procedure seeks to join two or more vertebrae in the lower back through the osteoblastic, or bone growth, process. Spinal fusion is an attempt to restabilize a weakened or injured spine. Fusion utilizes bone grafts to limit the mobility of a section of the lower back and eliminate neural compression.

Lumbar spine conditions

There are a variety of problems that can affect the lower back, including:

  • Degenerative conditions – facet disease and degenerative disc disease can both cause the cartilaginous portions of the spine (facet joints and intervertebral discs) to deteriorate, leading to bone spurs, herniated discs, bulging discs or spondylolisthesis.
  • Trauma/injury – fractured vertebrae can occur as a result of any traumatic accident, though mild muscle strains and ligament sprains from overexertion or improper lifting are most common.
  • Spinal abnormalities – abnormal curvature of the spine due to scoliosis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis.

When considering any type of spine operation, such as fusion of the spine, it is important to keep in mind that ailments of the neck and back are as varied as the people who deal with them. And, while spinal fusion may be helpful for a fracture or curvature of the spine, it may not be necessary for something as common as a herniated disc. For degenerative conditions, always attempt a course of non-operative treatment first.

Alternatives to traditional open lumbar back surgery and spinal fusion

Granted, there are certainly a percentage of patients who will not find effective relief from conservative treatments. For these patients, there is Laser Spine Institute. The minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that are being offered at Laser Spine Institute may be able to help you find relief from back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn how minimally invasive technology can do the same for you, without the risks and lengthy recovery periods^ of traditional open spine surgeries.

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