Lumbar (lower back) pain caused by movement can be effectively treated using a minimally invasive lumbar fusion procedure. The procedure is only indicated when pain does not respond to non-surgical treatment options. The goal of the procedure is to eliminate pain by fusing adjacent lumbar vertebrae, thus stopping movement at painful vertebral segments. The spine specialists at Hope Orthopedics are experts at performing minimally invasive lumbar fusions.
A Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion at Hope Orthopedics
A board-certified anesthesiologist administers general anesthesia and monitors patients throughout the entire procedure. The approach that is used to perform the procedure may be made from the front (an anterior approach), back (a posterior approach), or side (a lateral approach). The type of approach depends on patients’ conditions and the preference of the surgeon. The following steps are used to perform the procedure:
- A very small incision is made
- Muscles and soft tissues are retracted so the lumbar spine may be visualized
- The intervertebral disc at a painful vertebral segment is removed
- An implant filled with bone graft is placed in the vertebral space
- Adjacent vertebrae are fixated using tiny screws and rods
The incision is closed and is covered with sterile dressings and an adhesive bandage. Total procedure time is approximately two hours.
A minimally invasive lumbar fusion is usually performed as an inpatient procedure. Patients are brought to a private room after their procedure is complete. They are taken care of by registered nurses and physical therapists. Patients usually return home two to three days after their procedure.
Patients will be in significantly less pain after their procedure; however, they will not be allowed to return to work or day-to-day activities until their spine surgeon clears them to do so. The formation of bone into a single, solid vertebra is an important part of recovery. Bone growth is monitored throughout the entire recovery process. Total recovery time is approximately eight months.
A minimally invasive lumbar fusion stabilizes and fuses lumbar vertebrae so they no longer produce pain. Patients experience significant lower back and lower extremity pain relief after their procedure. As bone healing takes places and patients regain their strength, they are able to live pain-free, happy lives. Conditions that the procedure can be used to treat include the following:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Lumbar vertebrae fractures
Patients who have any of these conditions or are experiencing lower back and/or lower extremity pain may contact Hope Orthopedics at any time to schedule an appointment. Our orthopedic spine specialists provide patients with solutions to their spine pain problems.