Before undergoing surgery, your physician must be sure that the pain is caused by the spine segment that is being fused. The purpose of discectomy and fusion in Atlanta surgery is to stabilize parts of the spine. Some patients with chronic back pain may benefit from this treatment, leading to a higher quality of life. It may take a few months for your bones to fuse completely. A rehabilitation specialist or another medical professional will teach you how to move, walk, sit, and stand correctly so that the bone stays aligned.
What is lumbar discectomy and fusion?
Lumbar discectomy and fusion is a surgical procedure that removes discs from the spine, and two or more vertebrae are combined to form a single, more rigid structure. The surgeon typically uses a bone graft or implants to replace the disc and create stability. The area is then joined together with plates and screws. The fusion will eventually heal into a single solid, firm bone. This procedure could take a year or more to complete. Neck and back pain is frequently caused by degenerative changes to the intervertebral discs in your cervical spine. These discs are found in the spinal column between the vertebrae. When these discs begin to degrade or herniate, spinal fusion procedures are used to stop the movement between the bones, securing the vertebrae together to help alleviate pain.
What happens during the procedure
The surgeon joins two or more vertebrae during the procedure. This prevents motion in that area and can alleviate pain caused by conditions such as arthritis. The goal is to fuse the vertebrae to prevent abnormal spine motion. Any spinal fusion surgery aims to create bone between two segments of vertebrae. Small bone fragments are usually placed in the space between the vertebrae fused. This promotes bone formation, allowing the vertebrae to heal and combine into a single solid segment of bone. However, the process does not end there. The vertebrae must be held together, usually with plates, screws, and rods to keep that segment of the spine immobile.
How successful is a discectomy and fusion surgery?
Discectomy and fusion surgery normally work well and provide faster relief than other treatments. It may still not be an excellent option for everyone, and it is generally recommended to exhaust all alternatives before deciding on surgery. Discectomy has been discovered to have a success rate of 90-95%, with only 5% of individuals suffering recurrent herniation.
How long does recovery from a discectomy take?
Individuals are advised to begin walking within a few days. It is best to take a week or two off from work to heal. For at least 2-4 weeks after surgery, the patient should not lift heavy objects for extended periods or bend or stretch excessively. You will need to return to the physician for further treatment, including physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises. Also, you can return to everyday life within 6-8 weeks in most cases.
To find out if you are an ideal candidate for a discectomy and fusion surgery, call Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center or book an appointment online.