Lumbar Fusion: An Introduction

By | April 16, 2015

Virtually all modern fusions are instrumented.  Screws, rods and or plates hold the bones together until fusion takes place. "Blausen 0446 HarringtonRods" by BruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited as:Blausen.com staff. "Blausen gallery 2014". Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. - Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blausen_0446_HarringtonRods.png#/media/File:Blausen_0446_HarringtonRods.png

Virtually all modern fusions are instrumented. Screws, rods and or plates hold the bones together until fusion takes place.
“Blausen 0446 HarringtonRods” by BruceBlaus. When using this image in external sources it can be cited as:Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blausen_0446_HarringtonRods.png#/media/File:Blausen_0446_HarringtonRods.png

Fusion is considered to be one of the most invasive forms of spinal surgery and therefore discussion of it occupy a significant amount of patient consultation time here at Schlesinger Pain Centers. Before we dive into the details of the many operative procedures, which fall under the general rubric of spinal fusion, I think that we should go over some of the basic concepts, as well as the indications and general types of fusion. Fusion is indicated for the pain and neurological deficits resulting from instability. If the two vertebrae that are to be fused have slipped out of position relative to one another, an attempt may be made to correct their relative positions, referred to as reducing the spondylolisthesis. The most common general type of fusions are the interbody fusions (anterior), but fusion can also be done laterally between the transverse processes of two or more adjacent vertebrae. There has been a debate over the years about the best fusion material, autologous bone, bone allografts and the new use of Bone Morphogenic Proteins.   Finally all modern fusions are instrumented, meaning that the bones are held in place by screws, rods or plating systems until the fusion is solid.   In the following blogs we will look at each of these technical details in more depth.


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