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Lumbar fusion has been used for many years to treat painful conditions in the spine. This surgical technique stabilizes the bones, or vertebrae, and the disc, or shock absorber, between the vertebrae. The goal of spinal fusion is to create solid bone between two or more vertebrae, which may reduce pain from motion, nerve root inflammation, or injury.
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Treatments for spinal problems range from conservative therapies, such as braces, to more invasive therapies including spinal injections and spinal surgery. The exact treatment your doctor may recommend will depend upon the nature of your spinal problem and what's causing it.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Posterior Lumbar Fusion
The posterior approach to lumbar spinal fusion is done from your back. This approach can be just a fusion of the vertebral bones or it can include removal of the problem disc.
Anterior Lumbar Fusion
The anterior approach to lumbar fusion allows your doctor to access the intervertebral disc from the front. This operation is usually done by making an incision in your abdomen.
Lateral Lumbar Fusion
The lateral approach to lumbar fusion is performed through a small incision in your side rather than your back. Posterior screws may be placed in addition.
Causes of Back and Neck Pain
Back and neck pain is not necessarily something you have to live with. If your pain is interfering with your daily activities, such as getting in and out of bed, taking a shower or tying your shoelaces, this may be a sign it is time to seek help. Only your doctor can recommend the most appropriate treatment options.
Choosing the Right Doctor
There are many types of physicians who treat back and neck conditions. For surgical treatment options, look for an orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon who specializes in diagnosing and treating spinal conditions.
Recovery & Rehabilitation
Some people who have spinal surgery experience good to excellent results. They find relief of pain and the return of functional movement and strength, enabling them to cope with the activities of daily life.
The type of operation you have will determine if and how long you will need to stay in the hospital and how much assistance you will need shortly after surgery.
As you recover from a spinal injury, whether to your neck or back, it is important that you begin to learn how to safely strengthen your spine to help prevent injuries in the future.
Anatomy of the Spine
Your spine is one of the most important parts of your body. It gives your body structure and support. Without it you could not stand up or keep yourself upright. Your spine allows you to move about freely and to bend with flexibility.
Tips for Safe Posture
It's possible that even minor changes in the way you do your work or hobby activities could keep your pain and symptoms in check while protecting your spine from further injury.
Work Place Strategies
These strategies are ideas of how to work with greater safety and even better productivity. Have you ever felt stress or tension at work? Chances are good that you wouldn't have a pain or worry if you didn't.
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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION As with any medical treatment, individual results may vary. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only a spine surgeon can tell if spine treatment is right for you.
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