Spinal fusion is a surgery that permanently connects two or more vertebra together, using one of several possible techniques. Under specific circumstances such as increased motion or advanced arthritis, a surgeon may elect to fuse vertebral bones together thus limiting motion which, result in decrease in pain.
Every prospective patient has heard of bad outcomes when it comes to spinal fusion surgeries. There are many cases where spinal fusion may be appropriate including increased motion or advanced arthritis. After discussing with the patient and gaining an understanding of where the pain is coming from, a spine fusion may be the best care option and can be done minimally invasively with great outcomes. Fusion surgeries can be done minimally invasively and with great outcomes.
My goal is to provide care plans to patients once I fully understand where their pain is originating and can confidently say surgery will improve symptoms between 75-90%. Often, these techniques involve minimal muscle disruption and “indirect” decompression of nerves. These techniques involve less removal of bone and ligament and provide improved spinal alignment. A spinal fusion does create additional strain on adjacent spinal levels but when done correctly that adjacent strain can be mitigated. When these techniques are utilized, patients can spend much less time in the hospital and possibly even have the procedure performed in the outpatient setting, thus reducing costs. I follow all my patient post-operative outcomes and am always raising the bar to improve surgical results.
Neck pain can cause difficulty concentrating. All my patients who had difficulty focusing reported improvement within 6 weeks of surgery.