Category: Minimally Invasive Surgery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi
A spinal fusion is a minimally invasive spine surgery in which two vertebra are joined together with a bone graft or hardware to reduce movement. A common question patients have when considering a spinal fusion surgery is how much will mobility be reduced following the procedure? In other words, will you be able to bend your back or neck at all after surgery? These are the questions we aim to answer in this article.
Spine fusions can help patients who have spinal arthritis, have sustained an injury to a spinal disc, or those who have a degenerative disc condition. The procedure involves removing the degenerative disc, and fusing the adjacent vertebrae together. This stops motion in the area and reduces pain.
The purpose of a spinal fusion is to prevent motion between vertebrae, so there will certainly be some decreased mobility that accompanies the procedure. Reducing mobility is, in many ways, the primary goal of a fusion. Usually the pain relief provided by a fusion more than makes up for any loss of mobility that follows.
Extent of Immobility
So what is the extent of this decreased mobility? Depending on the area of the fusion, mobility is decreased by roughly 5-10%. That being said, the action of bending over to pick something up is primarily a function of the hip flexors, rather than the spine. Most patients who undergo a spinal fusion do not find the loss of mobility to be debilitating. In most cases, they are much more grateful for the decreased levels of pain, and the small loss of mobility is a fine trade.
If you are suffering from back pain, a spinal fusion may be a good treatment option for you. Make an appointment with a spine specialist to see if you are a good candidate for this surgery.