Spinal Fusion is a surgery option via which two or more vertebrae in the patient’s spine are completely connected thereby eliminating motion between them. As part of the procedure, bone graft is used to fill the space between the two vertebrae.The bone graft material used in spinal fusion may be in a preformed shape, or it may be contained within a plastic, carbon fiber or metal cage. Once the bone graft heals, the vertebrae are permanently connected.
When is it Performed
Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion if you have a broken vertebra, a spinal deformity, spinal weakness, spinal instability or chronic low back pain, This procedure is recommended in cases where there maybe:
- Broken Vertebra
- Spinal Deformity
- Spinal Weakness
- Spinal instability
- Chronic lower back pain
Test & Diagnosis
A potential candidate for spinal fusion undergoes a long series of medical tests. In patients with scoliosis, x rays are taken over many months or years to track progress of the curve. Patients with disk herniation or degeneration may receive x rays, MRI studies, or other tests to determine the location and extent of injury.
Patients in good health may donate several units of their own blood in preparation for surgery. This may be done between six weeks and one week prior to the operation. The patient will probably be advised to take iron supplements to help replace lost iron in the donated blood. Sunburn or sores on the back should be avoided prior to surgery because they increase the risk of infection.
A variety of medical tests will be done shortly before surgery to ensure that the patient is in good health and prepared for the rigors of surgery. Blood and urine tests, x rays, and possibly photographs documenting the curvature will be done. An electroencephalogram (EEG) may be performed to test nerve function along the spine.
The patient will be admitted to the hospital the evening before surgery. No food is allowed after midnight, in order to clear the gastrointestinal tract, which will be immobilized by anesthesia.
How it is done
There are different types of treatment options for Spinal fusionSurgery. You may need a discussion with your doctor regarding your treatment procedure. Some standard treatments for Spinal fusionSurgery are:
Surgeons perform spinal fusion using general anesthesia, so you're unconscious during the procedure. The anesthesiologist or anesthetist gives you an anesthetic medication as a gas — to breathe through a mask — or injects a liquid medication into a vein.
The surgical team monitors your heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen throughout the procedure with a blood pressure cuff on your arm and heart-monitor leads attached to your chest. After you're unconscious, your surgeon will begin the procedure.
Surgeons have developed a variety of techniques for performing spinal fusion surgery. The technique your surgeon uses depends on the location of the vertebrae to be fused and the reason for spinal fusion. Generally, the procedure involves the following:
Bone graft preparation. The bone grafts that actually fuse two vertebrae together may come from a bone bank or from your own body, usually from a pelvic bone. If your own bone is used, the surgeon makes an incision above your pelvic bone, removes a small portion of it, and then closes the incision.
Incision. To gain access to the vertebrae being fused, the surgeon makes an incision in one of three locations: in your back directly over your spine; on either side of your spine; or in your abdomen, so your surgeon can access the spine from the front. The muscles and blood vessels then are moved away from the spine as much as possible to allow the surgeon to clearly see your spine.
Fusion. To fuse the vertebrae together permanently, the surgeon places the bone graft material between the vertebrae. Instruments such as small wire cages containing the bone graft material, as well as plates, screws or rods, may be put in place to help hold the vertebrae together while the bone graft heals.
Closure. The surgeon closes the incision using staples or stitches.
In selected cases, some surgeons use a minimally invasive technique to perform spinal fusion through several smaller incisions, rather than open surgery performed through one larger incision. Minimally invasive back surgery is complex and requires great skill. It's not available at all hospitals.
Risks involved in Spinal Fusion:
- Risk of nerve damage
- Delayed paralysis
Life after surgery
The patient will stay in the hospital for four to six days after the operation. Most activities are restricted for several weeks. Strenuous activities such as bike riding or running are usually resumed after six to eight months.
Exact Cost of the Disc Replacement Surgery will vary person to person and will depend on health condition of the Individual and also choice of the healthcare facility and Hospital Room, however average minimum price of the Medical Procedure is around USD 5000- USD 6000 for one disc this cost Include the cost of the Implant, Surgeon’s fees, Anesthetist fees and the hospital stay of 3-4 days in twin sharing room.
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