Why lumbar fusion is commonly performed at the L4-L5 level

If you have researched lumbar fusion, you have probably noticed that a high number of fusions happen between the L4-L5 vertebrae. Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 is a fairly common procedure. It involves the permanent fusion of the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. The fusion is performed to help relieve chronic back pain associated with many common spine conditions.

Before you can determine if our minimally invasive lumbar stabilization — an effective alternative to highly invasive traditional open back fusion — is the right procedure for you, you must find learn about why a lumbar fusion in the L4-L5 vertebrae is a common treatment for chronic lower back pain. At Laser Spine Institute, we believe that our patients should be well educated about their spinal conditions and the treatment options available so each patient can make an informed decision about the best treatment option for his/her needs.

As you continue to research our minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery, please contact us with any questions or concerns you have. Our caring team is ready to help you find the pain relief option that is right for you.

The anatomy of the lumbar spine

To better understand the reason why so many lumbar fusions happen at the L4-L5 vertebrae, a brief overview of the lower spine can be helpful. The spine is a complex structure comprised of vertebrae, spinal discs, ligaments and other components. Many of these components play vital roles within the spine:

  • Vertebrae. These small bones make up the structure of the spinal column and help to protect the delicate spinal cord. There are 33 vertebrae, five of which are in the lumbar spine, located in the lower back.
  • Spinal discs. These flexible pads separate adjacent vertebrae, absorb shock and help facilitate flexibility in the spine.
  • Ligaments. Ligaments connect bone to bone. Several ligaments in the spine hold vertebrae together and help with spinal stability.

Like any other part of the body, the components of the spine begin to degenerate over time due to age, repetitive stress and a variety of other factors. The lumbar spine is especially susceptible to degeneration because it supports more than half of the body’s weight and holds a large amount of stress in our day-to-day movements. The L4 and L5 are the last two vertebrae in the lumbar spine, which means that they hold much of the body’s stress and weight every day. For this reason, lumbar fusion at L4-L5 is so commonly performed.

Laser Spine Institute

If you are being recommended for L4-L5 lumbar fusion surgery and are interested in learning more about our minimally invasive stabilization as an alternative, contact our team today. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative, offering our patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.

We will be glad to help you receive a no-cost review of your MRI* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.