When a back condition causes chronic pain or spinal instability, the best solution may be a spinal fusion. As board-certified neurosurgeons and specialists in spinal surgery, Cyril Sebastian, MD, and Derek Kroll, DO at Evergreen Spine and Neurosurgery Center in Shenandoah, Texas & Conroe, Texas, has extensive experience performing spinal fusions that help countless men and women achieve relief from their back or neck pain. To learn if spinal fusion may be the path to your recovery, call the office or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.
A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure to join two or more vertebrae together, allowing them to grow into one strong bone. The fusion stops movement between the two vertebrae, which eliminates pain and stabilizes your spine. Because the surgery involves a small segment of your spine, the procedure usually has a minimal impact on your range of motion.
Dr. Sebastian may recommend a spinal fusion to alleviate pain caused by conditions that include:
Any time you have spinal instability, which is unusual or excessive motion between two vertebrae, you may need a spinal fusion.
Dr. Sebastian may reach your spine from the front, called the anterior approach, or your back, which is the posterior approach. In many cases, your neck is approached from the front and the lower spine from the back.
Whenever possible, he performs minimally invasive spinal surgery, using a few small incisions and specialized instruments. For example, he may perform a fusion using an endoscope, a narrow tool that contains a camera, and sends a magnified view of the spine to a monitor.
Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery causes less bleeding, minimal trauma, and reduces your post-surgery pain. Because your muscles stay intact, you also recover more quickly following minimally invasive surgery compared to open surgery.
During a spinal fusion, Dr. Sebastian accesses your spine and repairs any underlying problems, such as removing bone spurs, thick ligaments, or herniated or degenerated discs. Then he inserts a bone graft between the two vertebrae being fused.
A bone graft is a small piece of bone material. The graft may come from your own body or a bone bank. You may also have the option of using artificial bone graft material.
The bone graft doesn’t immediately fuse your spine. Instead, it creates a bridge between the vertebrae that supports new bone growth. Proteins and growth factors in the graft stimulate each vertebra to grow new bone over the graft, gradually growing together to fuse into one bone.
In some cases, Dr. Sebastian may use hardware like plates and screws to temporarily hold the vertebrae while they heal and fuse.
If you have ongoing back or neck pain, call Evergreen Spine and Neurosurgery Center or book an appointment online.