When the fusion of vertebrae becomes necessary
Spinal fusion treatment can be an excellent option for patients who have debilitating spinal conditions that range from degenerative disc disease to scoliosis. With that in mind, surgical fusion treatment is generally pursued only in the cases of patients who have found little to no relief after attempting to remedy their situation with conservative treatments.
Conservative, or non-surgical, spinal treatments run the gamut, and your physician will recommend solutions based on your particular condition. Sometimes, the suggested treatment will involve a short period of bed rest (longer periods of rest can actually worsen symptoms), but may also involve performing certain exercises in order to increase the flexibility and strength of your back. You may also be advised to take over-the-counter or prescription drugs to address your inflammation, pain and other issues related to your condition.
In addition to these typical treatments, many patients find relief using alternative forms of therapy, which might include chiropractic sessions, acupuncture or any number of other therapies. The efficacy of these approaches is debated within the medical community, but they might still be worth a try.
If, after weeks or months of attempting these conservative treatments, you have seen little to no progress in managing your pain, addressing any weakness or remedying other associated symptoms, your physician might recommend spinal fusion treatment. Spinal fusion is designed to address joint movement within the spine that might be contributing to pain, whether it’s caused by spondylolisthesis, a collapsed intervertebral disc, spinal osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease or any number of other issues. Fusion treatment, in simple terms, involves removing part of all of an intervertebral disc, inserting a bone graft into the empty disc space, then inducing a biological response to grow the bone further. The result is a bony fusion between two or more vertebrae. Not only can this growth stabilize the spine, but it can provide relief from pain and other symptoms.
When investigating spinal fusion treatment, be sure to examine all of your options. In addition to the traditional open back approach to such procedures, there are also minimally invasive options available. These less invasive techniques require much smaller incisions and often mean less recovery time^ for the patient.
Laser Spine Institute’s experienced surgeons specialize in minimally invasive spinal procedures, including spinal fusion treatment options. To learn more about our outpatient spinal fusion therapy options, contact us today.