Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure that helps stop the motion at painful vertebral segment, which decreases pain from the joint. All types of spinal fusion surgery involve adding a bone graft to a segment of the spine. Also involved with spinal fusion surgery is setting up a biological response, which causes the bone graft to grow, creating a bone fusion.

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Do I need Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Dr. Pedlow may recommend Spinal Fusion Surgery for many reasons, which include:

  • Treating a fractured vertebra
  • Correcting a deformed vertebra
  • Relieving pain from motion
  • Treating instability
  • Treating cervical disc herniations

Types of Spinal Fusion Surgery

Posterolateral Gutter Fusion

The standard for a spinal fusion. This spinal fusion involves placing a bone graft in the posterolateral portion of the spine.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)

PILF is a procedure that involved removing the disc between two vertebrae and inserting bone into the space created between the two vertebral bodies.

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)

ALIF is a procedure done from the front and involves removing the disc between two vertebrae and inserting bone into the space created between the two vertebral bodies.

Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion

A procedure done from both the front and back.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (FLIF)

A procedure done from the back of the spine, similar to posterior lumbar interbody fusion.

Extreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)

The surgical approach is taken from the side, rather than the front or back.

Recovery Time for Spinal Fusion Surgery

Recovering after the surgery may be a little painful, but fortunately there are great postoperative pain control available. Recovery time is typically a little longer for spinal fusion surgery compared with other types of back surgery, so it may take the patient longer to return to a normal, active lifestyle.

It may take a few months until the patient sees significant bone healing, and this bone healing could continue up to a year after the patient’s surgery. A patient’s activity can start to increase at this time.

A brace sometimes may be recommended after the patient’s surgery, depending on Dr. Pedlow’s preference and/or recommendations as well as other aspects after your surgery.

Questions About Spinal Fusion Surgery

For any additional questions or concerns about spinal fusion surgery, please contact the office of Dr. Pedlow at (617) 227-0300 or fill out our online form.