POSTEROLATERAL FUSION PROCESS
The fusion process is done by the common fixation technique known as the pedicle screw fixation. Under this technique the screws are placed within the pedicles of each vertebral segment on both sides of the spine which is then connected to each other with a metal rod. In a procedure where one level fusion is done four screws and two rods are used to fuse two vertebrae whereas in a multilevel fusionprocedure like a two level fusion six screws and two rods are used to fuse three vertebrae.
In this posterolateral fusion surgical procedure the bony bridge where the graft is placed between the transverse processes in the back part of the spine. The reason behind this placement is that it allows the perfect healing environment where the bone heals from the transverse process of one vertebra to the transverse process of the next vertebrae.
CAUSES FOR A POSTEROLATERAL FUSION
A fusion surgery is usually done in the lower back area of the spine that causes the patient severe back pain, however it can also be done for cervical and thoracic spinal problems. Usually all these spinal problems usually happen due to spinal deformities like scoliosis and kyphosis. Doctors usually suggest this procedure whenalternative treatment methods fail to provide any respite to the patients. These conditions are:
- Discogenic Pain
- Vertebral Fracture
- Posterior Rami Syndrome
- Spinal Tumor
- Spinal Disc Herniation
- Degenerative Disc Disease
AVOIDING POST-SURGICAL RISKS
The main risk associated with this type of surgery is that solid fusion may not be obtained. In order to avoid any post-surgical risk it is necessary that patient refrain from activities like bending, lifting and twisting for at least the first four weeks after the surgery. The doctors also advise patients to avoid smoking as well as drinking alcohol.