Spinal Fusion ~ Spine Surgery

Spinal Fusion

Spine surgery LA

Without a functional spine, you would have trouble holding yourself upright , sitting or even standing up. The spine allows free movement and also provides stability to the body’s structure. The spine is made up of several small bones called vertebrae. In between these bones lie a gel-like disc (intervertebral disc) to absorb pressure from movement.

The spine is separated into three major segments: the cervical spine, the thoracic spine, and the lumbar spine. The cervical portion of the spine is made up of 7 bones (also called vertebrae). The thoracic portion consist of 12 vertebrae. The lumbar spine is the lower portion of the spine which can consist of 7 vertebrae. The normal spine is usually shaped like an S when viewing from the side. The curve of the spine allows an even distribution of weight which increases stability.

Many conditions cause pain in the spinal area and affect the body’s range of movement. Among these conditions are spinal stenosis, fractures, tumors, infections, and degenerative disc disease. In the case of degenerative disc disease, the intervertebral disc becomes thin or worn which can cause nerves to become compressed. Once the nerves are compressed, they will eventually swell and cause pain (See Damaged DiscDamaged spinal disc). Degenerative disc disease is sometimes caused by age, continuous repetition and possibly even genetics. Because there is little blood flow to the disc, the body’s ability to repair a damaged disc is slight to none. Most cases of degenerative disc disease are diagnosed using a special imaging process known as an MRI. A MRI is imaging scan that shows parts of your back in clear detail. Upon identifying the source of pain, our specialists can determine the appropriate treatment. One treatment option that can diminish the affects of a degenerative disc is called a spinal fusion.

Tower Orthopaedics specialists may perform this minimally invasive procedure to take pressure off the nerves that are causing pain. This is done by restoring the alignment of the spine or the space between the vertebrae and then stabilizing and fusing the spine. In order to fuse spinal bone, a bone graft (small pieces of bone) is inserted alongside of the vertebrae to be fused. The surgeon puts the graft in and around a device that’s placed between the vertebrae (See Nerve Releasespinal nerve release). Special screws and rods are placed to stabilize the diseased area of the spine (See Screwsscrews in spinal discs).A spinal fusion is when bone grows between the vertebra, stopping any motion in the area, which reduces pain (See Fused Vertebraefused vertebrae).

The procedure involves small incisions in the skin, and the surgeon is guided by sophisticated imaging technology that projects the anatomical images onto a television screen. The advantage of this system is that the screws and rods are placed into the bone in the spine with minimal trauma to the muscle and tendons in the back.