Back Fusion or Spinal Fusion Surgery

Back surgery has been lending a saving hand for sufferers of chronic back pain. Back pains vary from short and minor pains to severe pains that can be pretty traumatic and immobilizing.

In the minor cases different kinds of cures are suggested including change in sitting or sleeping positions, yoga, physiotherapy, but in cases where the pain does not respond to any treatment or the cause of the pain is a damaged disc or pinning or nerves and in cases where the pain obstructs the patient from carrying on their normal activities, back surgery and more commonly back fusion surgery has been the solution.

Back fusion surgery or spinal fusions is the commonest of back surgeries. This is normally performed in cases where the pain is due to degenerated or damaged spines. This is a pretty common condition as old age is one of the reasons. These damaged discs might also be exerting pressure or pinching some nerves which can also cause severe pain.

Back fusion surgery actually involves two surgeries. First a surgery will be performed to get bone graft or bone chips from a patient's hip or pelvis etc. Then the back fusion surgery will be performed in the spine, to remove the damaged or degenerated discs that are causing the pain or affecting nerves.

The bone chips removed from the first surgery are then implanted into the space in the vertebrae and they help the body grow bones and fuse the vertebrae. The surgery to harvest the bones can be very painful and in a lot of cases the pain from the graft site continues even after the back pain is gone.

New advances are making the back fusion surgery more successful and are also reducing the surgery time, hospitalization time as well as the recovery period. First of these is the usage of genetically produced protein. These are used in place of bone chips from the patient’s body.

During the back fusion surgery, these are placed in a sponge (after being hydrated with sterile water) and packed in a metal cage and placed in the gap between the vertebrae (from where the damaged discs are removed). These proteins induce the body to produce bones to fuse the vertebrae. This thus avoids a painful surgery to remove the bone chips from the body.

Minimally invasive procedures are also being used in back fusion surgery to reduce the need of large incisions, cutting and stripping of large muscles etc. Instead of these, muscle dilation is used and small incisions are made to insert tubes and modern surgical instruments. This makes the back fusion surgery a lot simpler, safer and reduces recovery periods drastically.


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