What is Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is one of the most trusted surgical procedures that is used in the treatment of degenerative disc disease. It is often performed on individuals who have severe degenerative disc disease and non-surgical treatment were proven unable to provide them any pain relief.

The goal of spinal fusion for degenerative disc disease is to reduce pain by stopping the motion that is causing the pain to occur in a specific location. Spinal fusion degenerative disc surgery is different according to the level of spine it is being done at. These different spinal fusion surgeries are

  • Single-level fusion: One of the most common degenerative disc surgeries that takes place at the L5-S1 segment and it does not bring about any change in the mechanisms of the back
  • L4-L5 level fusion: This fusion takes place in a major motion segment of the lower back it removes some of the normal motion of the spine
  • Multi-level Fusion: This surgical procedure is more complicated and risky then the single-level fusion. Common multilevel fusion procedures are A2-level – for severe disabling pain and 3-level fusion – not recommended generally as it diminishes back movement considerably

Who is a candidate for Spinal Fusion Surgery?

Deciding on getting a spinal fusion for degenerating discs is a major step that is why it should be considered carefully and only decided upon after meeting the following criteria:

  • If a patient suffering from degenerative disc disease has been under conservative treatment therapy including pain management and physical rehabilitation that is exercise based for more than six months and feels no change in his condition or pain
  • When pain in the affected area makes normal day to day activities an impossible task even after regular non-invasive treatment therapies
  • When pain becomes uncontrollable in magnitude even after acceptable doses of medication
  • When a person’s ability to indulge even in the lightest activities starts to diminish