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 reviewed[Under Medical Review]by Lawrence Frisch, MD, MPH
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.