DAVE WATTS, MD
Spondylolisthesis Reduction & Fusion
It is a painful spine condition in which one vertebra displaces over other. The excess displacement can compress surrounding spinal nerves, causing severe pain.
The surgeon selects a treatment based on the patient’s age, extent of slip, and severity of symptoms. The orthopedic doctor may opt for surgery when the vertebra continues to slip, and conservative methods of treatment fail to work.
The surgical treatment helps relieve pain and reduce pressure on the compressed spinal nerves.
There are two surgical procedures used to treat spondylolisthesis.
In the first surgical procedure called decompression laminectomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the back. After which a part of the bone responsible for causing pressure on the spinal nerve is removed. This first procedure helps create more space for the nerves, relieving pain, and reduce pressure on the nerves. However, this procedure alone is not sufficient as it makes the spine unstable and another procedure has to be performed, called spinal fusion for stabilizing the spine.
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure used for combining two or more vertebrae. This procedure involves insertion of secondary bone tissue through autograft or allograft, augmenting the bone’s healing process. Once the fusion process is successfully performed, the surgeon fits it with metallic screws, rods, plates, and cages for stabilization of the vertebrae. This procedure helps prevent slippage and accelerates bone fusion. A complete fusion may take from 6 to 12 months.
These are some of the complications which may be caused because of spinal fusion.
The surgeon, upon completion of the surgery, recommends physical therapy and a well-planned rehabilitation program, enabling the patient to regain strength in surrounding bones and muscles, helping the patient quickly get back on their feet.
Reduced bladder or bowel control.
Loss of sensation
Damage to the spinal nerves