• McAllen, TX - Rio Grande Valley Orthopedic Center
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Spinal Fusion Surgery

Planning for Spinal Fusion Surgery

Living with a problem back or neck can be frustrating. Pain may keep you from doing what you like or need to do. You may have tried other treatments, including surgery, which didn’t relieve your pain. Now, you and your doctor have decided that spinal fusion may be the best way to control your pain. Spinal fusion permanently connects two or more bones in your spine. This booklet lets you know what to expect before, during, and after your surgery.

Your Painful Spine

Back or neck problems can have many causes. They include:

  • Damage from overuse
  • Damage from an injury
  • Medical problems such as arthritis
  • No matter what the cause, the weakness, numbness, or pain that you feel is disrupting your life. You may find it hard to do your job, excercise, or keep up with your daily errands. And your family and social life may be strained as a result. But relief may be within your reach.

    Spinal Fusion May Help

    During spinal fusion, your surgeon locks together, or fuses, some of the bones in your spine. This limits the movement of these bones, which may help relieve your pain. Your back or neck won’t be quite as flexible. Even so, you may feel more flexible after a fusion because you can move with less pain.

    Types of Spinal Fusion Surgery

    Which section of the spine is fused depends on where your pain is. Sections of the spine that may be fused include:

  • The neck (called cervical fusion)
  • The lower back (called lumbar fusion)
  • Fusion can be done from the front (anterior) side of the body or the back (posterior) side of the body.
  • Your surgeon will decide which is best for you.