Low back pain affects about 80% of people at some point in their lifetime. If a back injury or pain hasn’t responded to conservative treatments, lumbar fusion can potentially offer you long-lasting relief. At Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center in Sandy Springs and Smyrna in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area, experienced neurosurgeons are skilled at completing lumbar fusion using the latest technology and surgical procedures, including robotic spine surgery with the ExcelsiusGPS® Globus system. Schedule a consultation with Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center over the phone or online today to learn more.
Lumbar fusion, or spinal fusion, is surgery designed to limit the motion of a painful segment of vertebrae in your lower back to alleviate chronic pain. During the procedure, your neurosurgeon may add a bone graft to part of your spine to allow bones to fuse together. It’s a process that helps mimic the normal healing process of broken bones.
There are several reasons your Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center doctor may recommend lumbar fusion. Examples include:
If you’ve tried conservative treatments like physical therapy, steroid injections, or regenerative medicine and still experience pain, surgery may be the next step.
To be sure you’re a good candidate for the procedure your doctor reviews your medical history, asks about your symptoms, completes a physical exam, and may use imaging tests like X-rays or an MRI.
Prior to lumbar fusion, Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center’s anesthesiologists use medicine to put you to sleep so you don’t feel any pain. Your surgeon uses innovative robotic technology during the procedure for better precision and accuracy, smaller incisions, less bleeding, and a shorter recovery time.
They make an incision in your back to gain access to your vertebrae and use bone grafts from another area of your body or a bone bank to fuse two vertebrae together. Your neurosurgeon places the graft between two vertebrae and may use metal screws, rods, or plates to hold vertebrae together while they heal.
You might require a hospital stay for a day or two after spinal fusion. Your doctor helps you manage post-surgery discomfort while you heal. Plan on having somebody drive you home. Call your doctor if you experience signs of infection such as fever, redness, swelling, or tenderness.
In the several months it takes for your spine to completely heal, your doctor may recommend you wear a brace to keep the spine properly aligned. They may refer you to the Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center’s physical therapy program to accelerate healing, improve range of motion, and build strength and flexibility.
Don’t live with lingering low back pain as lumbar fusion may be the solution you’ve been searching for. Schedule an appointment with Polaris Spine & Neurosurgery Center over the phone or online to find out if the procedure is right for you.