Spinal fusion is a back or neck surgery that’s also known as arthrodesis or vertebral interbody fusion. This treatment stops movement between two vertebrae in the back or neck by joining them together in patients with spinal instability. At Riverview Health, our orthopedic spine surgeons perform spinal fusion to reduce back pain/sciatica and restore function to your back or neck.
Many people who have back or neck pain try nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, spinal injections, medications and back braces, before they consider surgery. Talk to a doctor at Riverview Health to see if spinal fusion is right for you. This is likely an option if you’re having chronic pain or disability due to:
If your condition does not require open surgery, you can have a minimally invasive surgery, which uses fewer incisions and often results in less pain and a shorter recovery. Open surgery requires a surgeon to use a bone graft to join two vertebrae. These grafts can be synthetic or come from a cadaver or your own body. Then, over several months, your body grows new bone around the graft to permanently fuse the vertebrae.
People who have had spinal fusion usually spend 2-3 days in the hospital after the procedure, and then may move to a rehabilitation center. In addition, you’ll wear a neck or back brace for several weeks post-surgery, as well as use a physical therapy program to learn how to move in ways that protect your spine. Full recovery can take up to a year.
After your arthrodesis procedure, your orthopedic surgeon will discuss with you some of the best practices for keeping your back healthy in the future.
If you’re considering spinal fusion or another spine surgery to improve your back or neck pain, contact Riverview Health at 317.565.0505 or by completing an appointment request form.
As part of our back surgery options, Riverview Health offers spinal fusion for people living in Noblesville, Carmel, Cicero, Fishers, Sheridan and Westfield, IN.