If you have a particularly severe or treatment-resistant herniated disc, you might benefit from spinal fusion. The skilled team at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine performs several minimally invasive cutting-edge surgeries, including oblique lumbar interbody fusion and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. With locations in Englewood, Jersey City, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Bayonne, New Jersey, as well as the Castleton Corners area of Staten Island in New York City, they assess your suitability for spinal fusion and prepare you for surgery. Find out more by calling your nearest office or booking an appointment online today.
Spinal fusion is a surgical technique that stabilizes your spine. It involves joining two or more vertebrae to strengthen your spinal column.
Spinal fusion usually forms part of an operation to remove a herniated disc or one that degenerative disc disease affects.
You might also require fusion after procedures like laminectomy, laminotomy, and foraminotomy, where your surgeon removes sections of bone to make more space for your spinal nerves.
Taking out the diseased disc or pieces of bone can affect the stability of your spine. Fusion surgery addresses this to ensure you don't develop any new spinal problems.
To perform spinal fusion, your surgeon at Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine makes an incision in your skin and muscle to reach your spine. They remove the disc or other material and insert a fusion cage into the space.
Once the cage is in position, your surgeon places bone graft material (natural or artificial) in the back of the vertebra and along its side. The bone graft triggers the fusion process that joins the vertebra above and below to form one bone.
You may also need to have rods and screws fitted to ensure proper stabilization.
There are several possible approaches to spinal fusion. Some of the methods the Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine team uses include:
Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) is a minimally invasive procedure that requires just one small incision of about an inch in your back.
Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF) uses minimally invasive techniques, but your surgeon approaches your spine from the side. They make two small incisions of about an inch and insert a probe into one of them.
The probe detects and stimulates the nerves around your spine so your surgeon can avoid damaging them. They use the second incision to insert the instruments needed to carry out the procedure.
Oblique lumbar interbody fusion (OLIF) uses similar techniques, but your surgeon accesses your spine through your left side. This oblique approach enables them to separate your abdominal wall without damaging the soft tissue.
These spinal fusion surgeries are often outpatient procedures, although some patients may need to stay a day or two in the hospital. You can walk on the day of your spinal fusion surgery and return to daily activities after a couple of weeks of rest.
After about six weeks, you start a program of physical therapy to regain strength and function in your spine. Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine has a state-of-the-art physical therapy facility on-site.
To discuss the best option for your treatment-resistant back or neck pain, call Total Orthopedics Spine and Sports Medicine today or book an appointment online.