Spinal Fusion: What to Expect
A spinal fusion is a surgery to weld together two vertebrae. Vertebrae are the bones that make up the spine.
To treat persistent pain and disability caused by:
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal that the spinal cord runs through)
- Spinal injury
- Spondylolisthesis (vertebra is out of line with the others)
- Scoliosis (abnormal curve in the spine)
- Weak or unstable spine, usually due to infection or tumors
- Herniated disk
Spinal fusion may be done if the treatments below do not relieve pain and disability:
- Pain medicines
- Muscle relaxants
- Physical therapy
- Injection of drugs to relieve pain and swelling
- Behavior change therapy
Imaging tests must also show a problem that can be fixed with this procedure.
Last reviewedDecember 2012by John C. Keel, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.