Spinal Fusion Surgery

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

What is spinal fusion surgery in children?

Spinal fusion surgery helps to stop the progression of curving of the spine, known as scoliosis. The surgery helps to not only straighten the curve, but can improve children’s posture, fit of clothing, prevent back pain, and minimize other side effects of scoliosis.

The spinal fusion recovery process can be difficult, as children may experience pain and find it hard to sit up, stand, and walk while recovering. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, is here to help your child have a smooth recovery from spinal fusion surgery and answer any questions throughout the process.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.

Pediatric Spinal Fusion Surgery Program at Nicklaus Children's 

Is spinal fusion surgery in your future? If so, you are probably feeling some uncertainty. The best thing you can do right now is to learn as much as possible about the procedure and share the information with friends and family. Knowledge will prepare you for what is ahead and help you feel more in control and less anxious. Here’s how to get started. First, ask your doctor every question that comes to mind and read all the materials you can find on the subject. We also urge you to attend the Scoliosis & Spine Disorders Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. The program provides an opportunity for you and your family to learn about what to expect during spinal fusion recovery.

Reviewed by: Stephen G George, MD

This page was last updated on: 10/28/2019 2:48:57 PM