March 24, 2023

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Here’s All You Should Know About Spinal Fusion Surgery

Back pain is not uncommon. In fact, about 31 million persons in the United States live with chronic back pain. Once drugs and other physical therapies are ineffective, you are stuck with a condition that keeps you from living a life without pain. Luckily, there are other alternatives you can explore. A spinal fusion surgery at McNulty Spine can alleviate or even eliminate discomfort. Continue reading to learn about the benefits and dangers of Las Vegas spinal fusion for back pain relief.

What Exactly Is a Spinal Fusion?

A spinal fusion is a surgical operation where one or more vertebrae are fused together. The fusion of the vertebrae keeps them from shifting out of position, which is a prevalent trigger of back discomfort and pain. Spinal fusion can alleviate back discomfort since the muscles, ligaments, and nerves can no longer become overstretched.

Is Spinal Fusion an Extensive Operation?

Spinal fusion surgery is quite an extensive surgical operation, often performed by neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons. Considering how complex the procedure is, Dr. Patrick S. McNulty of McNulty Spine works with a surgical team.

Before undergoing surgery, it is essential to inquire about the surgeon’s experience. Ask your provider how frequently they do the procedure and their success rate.

What Conditions Warrant a Spinal Fusion?

If you often suffer agonizing back pain, you understand that it can limit your mobility and life quality. While a spinal fusion might not appropriate for everybody, it can alleviate your discomfort if you have:

·       Degenerative disc disease

·       Tumors

·       Spine infection

·       Scoliosis (abnormal spine curvature)

·       Spondylolisthesis

·       Spine fractures 

·       Lumbar spinal stenosis (constricted spinal canal)

Moreover, if you have unsuccessfully tried conservative solutions like physical therapy, pain-relieving drugs, or steroid injections, spinal fusion could be ideal.

How Is Spinal Fusion Performed?

Always consult your physician to learn how your surgery will be performed. This information can help alleviate any worries you have regarding the procedure. Furthermore, reassurance from your surgeon can help you stay calm throughout the procedure and anticipate desirable outcomes.  

There are two approaches that your provider can adopt during your spinal fusion. With an anterior lumbar fusion, the surgeon will access your spine through the abdomen. On the other hand, during a posterior fusion, your doctor will access the surgical site from behind.

Once fully exposed on the surgical table, your muscles are slowly retracted to reveal your spine. Your physician will then eliminate the damaged disc that is causing you discomfort. There are several materials Dr. McNulty can utilize to prevent the shift that caused your pain, including:

·       Rods or screws

·       Bone graft pieces from your pelvis, hip, or a donor

·       Morphogenetic protein (a substance that triggers bone development)

This procedure could take several hours. Arrange for a relative or friend to drive you home following your surgery.

Are There Any Risks Or Complications?

As with any surgical procedure, a fair share of risk and complications exists for a spinal fusion. Typical concerns include bleeding, infection, clotting, and additional discomfort. Other less common serious complications include nerve damage, Pseudoarthrosis (induced by a fusion failure), and the body rejecting a donor graft. Consult your doctor if you identify any of these concerns.

You should not live with back pain any longer when there are procedures that can offer you lasting relief from your discomfort. If you want to find out whether you are the right candidate for spinal fusion surgery, look no further than McNulty Spine. Spine surgeon Dr. Patrick S. McNulty offers safe and effective spinal fusion surgeries that address numerous conditions, including tumors, degenerative disc disease, and many more. Arrange an appointment through mobile or request online today.