Lumbar Fusion: A Brief Explanation About the Procedure

spine anatomy

Thinking of getting a lumbar fusion spinal surgery? We suggest you consider the benefits of a minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery before you commit.

Deciding that you need back surgery is a life-changing decision. You may find that you cure yourself of most of your pain, but you might also find that the

lengthy recovery time from traditional back surgeries is not for you. In this case, minimally invasive lumbar procedures can help you overcome the treatment need without the long recovery and painful soft tissue damage. 

What is Lumbar Fusion?

Lumbar fusion is the procedure spine surgeons use to fuse two or more of the vertebrae or disks in your spine together. Why might your surgeon want to do this? Because when you suffer from conditions such as arthritis or sciatica, it is the movement of the spinal column which causes your pain. To bypass the pain, a back surgery immobilizes the offending mechanical parts of your spine by fusing them together so that it heals into one solid bone.

The problem with this procedure is that it is unpleasant and painful. Open back surgery carries a heightened risk of infection, plenty of scarring, and a long time to recover. Modern medicine has produced a way to soften this procedure. The gentler version is called a minimally invasive lumbar fusion surgery, and it does the same job with less pain.

What Happens During a Lumbar Fusion Procedure?

If you were to go to the hospital for a traditional lumbar fusion procedure, the surgeon would knock you out cold before they began. They would make a long incision down the back in the area they want to fuse. They then go into the spine from the outside, using tools to break and reset bones, remove tissue and bone, and otherwise create a fusion between the lumbar regions of your back.

When you go in for a minimally invasive version of lumbar fusion, the surgeon makes smaller incisions which result in less scarring. The lack of open back surgery means you have a faster recovery time, and the surgeon does not damage as much soft tissue. Minimally invasive lumbar fusion means less pain, less inflammation, and a faster return to a pain-free life. You can even do it while you are awake.

The Difference Between Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion and Traditional Back Surgeries?

The main differences between the two types of procedure are in the recovery times. Minimally invasive lumbar fusion takes less time to recover from, and you should spend less time hospitalized. This procedure exposes you to life-threatening anesthetics for less time and damages less soft tissue. You get all the same benefits of a completed surgery without the prohibitive costs to your body. 

Minimally invasive lumbar fusion operations have a high success rate with less risk involved. You should benefit from an increased quality of life even though both operations will limit your range of movement. The movement limitation is minimal when you compare it to the benefits. You could live a pain-free life with minimally invasive spinal procedures. The choice is yours.