Spinal Fusion Surgery

Also known as:  lumbar spinal fusion surgery, spinal fusion.

What is spinal fusion surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is a procedure used to treat certain problems related to the spine. As the name implies, it involves fusing two spinal bones (vertebrae) together, so they can’t move.


What happens during the procedure?

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia with the patient on his or her back. An incision is made on the back, and muscle and tissue is separated to access the spine. The vertebrae are fused together using strips of bone, a bone graft, rods, screws, plates or cages. Once the fusion is complete, the incision is closed.


Is any special preparation needed?

The patient may need to avoid food, drink and certain medications before the procedure.


What are the risk factors?

Infection, bleeding, injury to surrounding organs and tissues, nerve damage, blood clots, loss of sensation and bowel or bladder problems are all potential risks.


Reviewed by: Stephen G George, MD

This page was last updated on: 11/2/2018 11:50:34 AM