Problems in your spine, such as spinal stenosis, may prevent you from taking part in daily activities and may cause pain and discomfort. If this goes without treatment, you may develop damage to your nerves and spine. You can, however, visit your specialist at McNulty Spine for Las Vegas spinal fusion to place your vertebrae in place and improve your mobility.
What is spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used to repair vertebrae in your spine to restore stability to your spine. This process helps to relieve pain caused by back or neck problems such as:
- Fractures in your vertebra
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Herniated discs
Your doctor at McNulty Spine will diagnose you and discuss with you the risks involved with the procedure. For diagnosis, your doctor will assess you by:
- A physical exam to check for any nerve injury
- Using imaging tests like an X-ray to establish the cause of your pain and provide images of any fractures and tumors in your spine
- Magnetic resonance imaging provides detailed and more precise images of your spine
- Using a discogram to establish the source of your pain
Risks resulting from spinal fusion
- Pain at the incision area
- Nerve damage
- Blood clotting
To prepare for surgery, your doctor will require that you observe certain practices that include:
- Stop smoking to increase your chances of a successful surgery and prevent slow recovery.
- Eat a healthy meal that contains a lot of fiber and avoid foods with a lot of fat because they may cause constipation
- Ensure your home is safe by getting rid of rugs to avoid tripping
- Place your essentials like clothes and toiletries at a place where you won’t need to bend to reach them
- Engage in light exercises such as walking to enhance your recovery after the procedure
- Do not drink any alcoholic beverage the night before surgery
Spinal fusion procedure
Before the procedure, your surgeon will administer general anesthesia, which causes you to be unconscious throughout the surgery.
Your surgeon may access your spine from the front, a process known as the anterior approach or from the back called the posterior approach. Your doctor may make an incision on your lower back or throat, depending on the type of approach.
Your specialist will get an autograft from the iliac crest in your pelvis. A bone graft is used to facilitate attachment and healing of your vertebrae. Bone graft materials can be made from a variety of material that includes:
- Synthetic bone. This type of bone graft is made from ceramics such as calcium and phosphate
- Demineralized bone matrices
- Bone morphogenetic proteins
Finally, your surgeon will hold your vertebrae in place using rods, plates, and screws.
Post care for spinal fusion
After the surgical process, your doctor will give you instructions to help you during your recovery process. For example:
- Do not use anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin because they may cause bleeding and interfere with healing
- Avoid smoking to prevent developing an infection
- Wear a brace to keep your spine intact
- Engage in low-impact exercises like walking and gentle jogging
- Do not wet your incision area until a week after surgery
Spinal fusion offers relief from pain caused by different conditions such as scoliosis. Book a session with your doctor at McNulty Spine to restore your spinal stability.