Lumbar spinal fusion is a procedure designed to get two vertebrae to fuse together. Your doctor removes damaged or diseased intervertebral discs and then places bone grafts around the spine. Once the grafts heal after surgery, it joints the vertebrae together and stabilizes the spine as a result.
Rather than making large incisions and cutting directly through muscle like traditional spinal fusion, minimally invasive fusion uses smaller incisions and a fiber optic camera to perform the procedure. It spreads through the muscles gently and causes less damage to the surrounding tissues.
What conditions does it treat?
Spinal fusion is typically used to relieve pain from general aging or arthritis, which can lead to degenerative disc disease. The lumbar spine is located in the lower spine, at the center of the lower back’s curve. The area is a common spot for back pain.
What can I expect afterward?
The recovery time of minimally invasive spinal fusion is shorter than that of traditional spinal fusion. However, you will still need to follow your doctor’s instructions regarding work and regular activity. Every patient is different, but you should expect to spend about six weeks recovering from your fusion.