DAVE WATTS, MD
Posterior Lumbar Fusion
Posterior lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure used to joint two or more vertebrae in the spine.
Posterior lumbar fusion can be used for treating different types of diseases and medical conditions including degenerated discs, scoliosis, kyphosis, spinal infections, tumors, traumatic injury, recurrent disc herniation, and unstable disc.
Surgical Options Used
The two commonly used surgical options include open spine surgery or laparoscopic surgery.
Posterior spinal fusion is a medical procedure in which the surgeon makes an incision on patient’s back. This way the surgeon can expose the spine, soft tissues, and blood vessels to easily operate onto the patient.
Spinal fusion procedure involves using a piece of bone from any other part of the body or donated from bone bank. This piece of bone is used between adjacent vertebrae. Surgeons use cages, plates, and screws to hold the spine and stabilize the bone graft.
Posterior Lumbar Fusion
This surgical technique helps correct the spinal problems from the back of the spine. A bone graft is used between segments in the back while leaving the disc space intact.
The surgeon may also use minimally invasive surgical techniques to perform this procedure.
What is Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion surgery?
This procedure requires the patient to lie on their stomach. The surgeon makes a small incision in the back over the vertebra. The surrounding spine muscles are dilated for easy access to a particular section of the spine. The surgeon removes the lamina, roof of the vertebra to visualize the nerve roots and face joints directly over the nerve roots, trimming them to provide nerve roots more space.
The surgeon implants a bone graft between transverse processes using screws and rods for stabilizing the spine. After completion of the procedure, the incision is closed, leaving behind a minimal scar.
A smaller incision made by the surgeon and dilation of muscles allows the surgeon to separate the muscles surrounding the spine instead of cutting them.
When is Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion surgery performed?
Posterolateral lumbar fusion is a procedure used to cure lower back instability caused by degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis. This surgical procedure is adopted when the conservative ways of treating these issues do not work.
Recovery of the Patient for Posterolateral Lumbar Fusion Surgery
In the case of a minimally invasive surgery performed, the patient gets discharged within a day. However, some of the patients may require longer hospitalization. The patients’ visible signs of recovery and improvement vary with their health condition and surgery performed.
The patient needs to be given a realistic timeline for their recovery. A patient has to comply with their doctor’s post-surgical instructions to ensure timely recovery and satisfactory outcome of the surgical procedure. In most cases, patients can resume their life routine within a few weeks’ times.