Vertebral arthrodesis is a term describing the fusion of vertebrae in the spine, which can occur both naturally and by performing surgery. This is the goal of spinal fusion surgery that uses bone graft material to stabilize a pair of adjacent vertebrae that have become destabilized — a condition caused by traumatic injury or the effects of a degenerative spine condition. The bone graft material is intended to solidify into new bone, fusing the vertebrae together and reducing the chance of spinal nerve compression in that vertebral segment.
In order to stabilize the vertebrae while the bone graft material matures and solidifies, metal implants might be inserted to keep the vertebrae stable in the meantime. Traditional approaches to fusion surgery have required a large, muscle-tearing incision to access the region of the spine requiring vertebral arthrodesis. There are many downsides to traditional open back fusion, including hospitalization, risk of infection and a long recovery period. Fortunately, less invasive surgical options, such as the minimally invasive stabilization procedures performed by the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute, may be your answer to relief.
When vertebral arthrodesis is needed
By the time a doctor or spine specialist recommends vertebral arthrodesis or another form of spine surgery, patients have typically exhausted conservative treatment options. Many patients are able to relieve the symptoms of a spine condition using nonsurgical treatments that also improve range of motion. If nerve compression is involved, these symptoms might include:
- Local pain
- Shooting pain along the nerve pathway
- Muscle weakness
Commonly prescribed treatments include exercise, stretching, cold compression, a heating pad and lifestyle changes like losing weight or quitting smoking. However, if symptoms persist after several weeks or months, stabilizing procedures involving vertebral arthrodesis might be recommended.
Why minimally invasive stabilization?
Minimally invasive stabilization at Laser Spine Institute can accomplish vertebral arthrodesis using a small, muscle-sparing incision. That’s why our procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, helping our patients avoid hospital-associated costs and offering a shorter recovery time^ than a traditional fusion.
To request a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute.