Spine Fusion and/or Decompression Surgery (Cervicothoracic, thoracolumbar, and lumbosacral)
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Herniated Disc
- Lower Back Pain
- Neck Pain
- Sciatica (Lumbar Radiculopathy)
- Spinal Arthritis
- Spinal Deformities
- Spine Infections
- Spinal Stenosis
- Spine Trauma and Spinal Cord Injuries
- Spinal Tumors and Cancer
- Tingling in Arms (Cervical Radiculopathy)
- Upper Back Pain
These two procedures are often combined, as decompression may de-stabilize the spine and create the need for a fusion to add stability. Spinal instrumentation (such as a small plate) can also be used to help add stability to the spinal construct.
What is spine fusion surgery?
Spinal fusion surgery permanently connects two or more vertebrae in your spine and eliminates motion between them to stabilize the spine. It is designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones.
For some patients with serious spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, or nerve compression with associated low back pain, fusion surgery is the treatment of choice. Your spine may also be unstable from a traumatic event. Another cause could be a decompression procedure that has created spinal instability by removing bone, disc, and soft tissue, leading to the need for a spinal fusion.
Surgery often includes instrumentation and fusion. Instrumentation refers to devices such as cages, metal plates, screws, and rods that are used to hold the vertebrae together so that they can heal into one solid unit. Fusion involves autograft (your own bone) or allograft (donor’s bone) that is packed into and around the instrumentation. During spinal fusion, Dr. Fayaz may also place the bone graft or a bonelike material within the disc space between two adjacent spinal vertebrae, to stimulate bony ingrowth and healing.
What is spinal decompression surgery?
Spinal decompression surgery relieves symptoms caused by pressure (or compression) on the spinal cord and/or nerve roots. Bulging or collapsed disks, arthritic facet joints, thickened ligaments, and bony growths as spurs can narrow the spinal canal and the spinal nerve openings (causing irritation). Spinal decompression surgery can be performed with or without spinal fusion.
Symptoms of spinal nerve compression include:
In severe cases or trauma, pressure on the spinal nerves can cause paralysis and problems with bladder and/or bowel function.
When is spine fusion surgery needed?
Spinal fusion may be recommended to treat:
- A traumatic event – Spinal fusion can reverse instability from a spinal cord injury or vertebral compression fractures
- A decompression procedure – This may have created spinal instability as it may have involved removing bone, disc, and soft tissue, leading to the need for a spinal fusion.
- Deformities of the spine (Scoliosis) – Spinal fusion can help correct spinal deformities, such as a sideways curvature of the spine.
- Spinal weakness or instability – Your spine may become unstable if there’s abnormal or excessive motion between two vertebrae. This is a common side effect of severe spinal arthritis and spondylolisthesis. Spinal fusion can be used to restore spinal stability in such cases.
- Herniated Disk – Spinal fusion may be used to stabilize the spine after the removal of a damaged (herniated) disk.
- Spinal stenosis – This is a narrowing of the vertebral spinal canal, and is a common condition that can result in compression of the nerves.
- Degenerative Disc disease
- Spinal Infections
- Spinal Tumors
If you are in the North Houston, Conroe, The Woodlands, Spring area and would like an evaluation for spinal decompression and/or fusion or if you have been recommended for spinal fusion or decompression surgery, call our office at 281-880-0700 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Fayaz.