What Everybody Needs to Know About Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgery that aims to eliminate motion between vertebrae in your spine by permanently connecting two or more of them. It involves techniques designed to act as the natural bone healing process. However, Las Vegas spinal fusion specialists at McNulty Spine use this surgical procedure to correct a wide range of spine problems. Therefore, this is a vital procedure, and here is what everybody needs to know about the treatment option.

Why Spinal Fusion is Done

As noted above, this type of surgery can be done to correct several issues, and they might include:

Spine Deformities such as scoliosis, which is a sideways curvature of the spine.

Spinal instability or weakness as a result of excessive or abnormal motion between two or more vertebrae. This is commonly caused by severe arthritis in the spine, and with spinal fusion, stability can be restored.

Spinal fusion can also be used to stabilize the spine in case you had a herniated disk removed.

How to Prepare for Spinal Fusion

Your provider offers the preparation instructions after the procedure has been found suitable for you. If you are undertaking some medications, you may be required to stop taking them before the procedure. Your hair can be trimmed on the treatment area during your appointment, and the area washed with an antiseptic or special soap.

What You Can Expect During the Procedure

Note that you will be unconscious during the spinal fusion procedure as your provider will put you under general anesthesia. Although several techniques have been developed to perform this procedure, it all depends on the vertebrae’s location to be fused, your unique needs, and your overall well being.

Incisions can be made on three locations to give the provider access to the vertebrae to be fused. This includes the neck or back, either side of your spine, throat, or abdomen. All these depend on your treatment area.

The bone grafts used to fuse the vertebrae can come from your Pelvis or a bone bank. Where your bone is used, your provider removes a small portion of your pelvic bone through an incision, which is then closed.

The bone graft material is placed between the vertebrae to fuse the vertebrae permanently. As the bone graft heals, metallic plates, rods, or Screws can hold the vertebrae together.

What Happens After the Procedure?

You can expect a hospital stay for up to three days after the spinal fusion procedure. Depending on the surgery’s extent, you can experience some discomfort and pain, but this can be well managed through medications.

If you experience redness, tenderness, swelling, shaking chills, wound drainage, and a high fever above 100.4 F, please contact your provider immediately.


Note that for the affected bones to heal and fuse completely, it can take several months, where you can be required to wear a brace for long enough to keep the spine aligned correctly.

Spinal Fusion has proved effective in treating fracture instability or deformities in the spine. However, it can be less effective when the cause of back or neck pain is unclear.

Expert spine surgeons at McNulty Spine can help you understand more about spinal fusion. Reach out to Patrick S. McNulty and get all the information you require.

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