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Spinal Fusion

Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group

Neurological Surgery located in Birmingham, AL

Neck or back pain that doesn’t resolve with conservative therapies may require surgery. Spinal fusion is a procedure that can relieve pain caused by herniated discs, scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, and many other spinal conditions. The compassionate surgeons at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group have extensive experience performing this safe, effective procedure. To end your battle with chronic neck or back pain, call the office in Birmingham, Alabama.

Spinal Fusion Q & A

What is spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion is a type of surgery designed to permanently connect two or more of the vertebrae within your spine. This surgery creates stability in conditions that cause pain when an area of your spine moves. 

Which conditions can benefit from spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion can address a variety of conditions, including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis and other deformities of the spine
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Spinal tumors

The team at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group typically begins with conservative therapies to address these conditions. When these treatments are unsuccessful, your physician may recommend spinal fusion surgery.

What happens during spinal fusion surgery?

During spinal fusion, your experienced surgeon removes the rubbery disc between two vertebrae and then places a bone graft in the space created. They use metal plates, screws, or rods to hold the vertebrae and the graft together. As your body heals, your vertebrae and the graft fuse together, so your spine no longer bends at the location of the procedure. 

Spinal fusion is most commonly performed in the neck, also known as the cervical spine. The skilled surgeons at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group perform two types of cervical fusion:

Anterior approach

This involves a small incision in your neck just above your collarbone. Next, your surgeon removes the disc and places the bone graft, then uses internal sutures and steri-strips on your external skin to close the incision. The sutures don’t need removal, and the steri-strips can be washed off easily after a few days.

Posterior approach

This approach uses a vertical incision down the back of the neck. Your surgeon then places the bone graft and uses external staples to close the incision. You return in a few weeks to have the staples removed.

The surgical team performs both the anterior and posterior approaches in a surgical setting under general anesthesia. You spend time in a post-operative recovery room after the procedure; most patients go home the same day or after spending one night in the hospital.

If you struggle with ongoing neck or back pain and you think you might be a candidate for spinal fusion, schedule a consultation with a caring physician at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group.