Spinal fusion failure

Spinal fusion is a substantial surgical procedure, and the risks associated with it should not be taken lightly. While the chances of developing any of the risks of spinal fusion, such as failed back surgery syndrome, are small in comparison to the number of patients who have successful surgeries, risks do occur and you should be aware of them before you undergo the procedure.

Specifically, traditional spinal fusion increases a patient’s risk of failed back surgery due to the highly invasive method of both accessing the spine and fusing the vertebrae together. Before the surgeon can even reach the spine to begin the procedure, the muscles surrounding the spine must be cut and detached through a large incision. After the damaged disc is removed from the spine, the two vertebrae around the empty disc space are fused together with bone graft and a small metal cage.

The large incision and muscle displacement can lead to the development of excessive scar tissue, which could grow around a nerve root or even in the way of the metal cage fusion, preventing the fusion from taking “hold” on the spine. While this is the most common reason for a failed spinal fusion, there are other factors that also increase the risk, such as:

  • Surrounding vertebrae/discs develop problems.
  • The fusion fails to take.
  • A patient experiences severe infection or other post-surgery complications.
  • Metal implants, or hardware, break.
  • Bone grafts are rejected.
  • A patient has unusual internal bleeding or blood clots.

Lower your risk of failed spinal fusion

Because one of the leading causes of failed back surgery syndrome is excessive scar tissue or postoperative infection and complications, it is important to find a surgery alternative that reduces those risks.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery offers patients a safer, more effective alternative to traditional spine fusion. Our minimally invasive stabilization procedure is performed through a small incision that goes around the muscles without cutting or tearing them. This allows our patients to experience lower risk and shorter recovery time^ than patients who choose traditional fusion.

Unlike traditional open back fusion that uses a metal cage to fuse the spine, our minimally invasive stabilization surgery uses an artificial disc and/or bone graft from the patient’s own body in order to reduce the risk of failed back surgery syndrome.

If you suffer from spinal fusion failure or any other type of failed back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute, offering minimally invasive procedures for a range of back and neck problems, including problems associated with spinal fusion failure. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for a review of your MRI or CT scan.