At RGVO, we know that the term “Spinal Fusion” may be unsettling. In order to help alleviate any anxiety in the prospective patient, we carefully walk the patient through this process and help them better understand the benefits of it. Learning about your spine can help you better understand how spinal fusion surgery works. The spine is made up of hard bones with soft cushioning between them. This procedure makes your spine strong and flexible, when it hasn’t been. Spinal pain can be one of the most unbearable afflictions and limits your ability to enjoy life and activities you most love doing. Although other treatments, including surgery, may not have relieved your pain, Spinal Fusion may be able to. Spinal fusion is a procedure which permanently connects two or more bones in your spine.
Your Evaluation: Before any serious talks of surgery takes place, you may be asked to visit your primary physician to make sure you are in acceptable physical shape for surgery. Once you have been cleared for surgery, you will begin preparing for the procedure. The surgeon will investigate to find out the severity of your pain and to identify which surgery would be the most beneficial for you.
Your Surgery – At the beginning of the surgery, you’ll receive general anesthesia which means you will be unaware during the procedure. There are three different types of surgeries that can be performed to help you with your spinal issues. The options range from – Cervical Fusion or Lumbar Fusion (which can be performed in two ways, Anterior or Posterior). Your surgeon will know what is best for you based on your evaluation and will discuss the findings with you.
Your Recovery – After your surgery, you will go to a unit called PACU (post anesthesia care unit). You will stay here until you are fully conscious, which usually only takes a few hours; after which you will be taken to your own room. If you had cervical fusion performed, you may go home the next day. If you had lumbar fusion performed, you may stay up to 7 days. Once you are cleared to return home, you will be advised to use several “Pro Tips” to better manage your pain and help your spine recover day by day.