Spine stabilization surgery

A spinal fusion is a spine surgery that is performed to eliminate the motion at a painful vertebral segment. \

Spinal stabilization becomes necessary to treat a number of spine conditions. The degree of stabilization required depends on the severity of the problem and the assessment done by your surgeon.

 Spinal stabilization surgery involves inserting instruments such as screws and plates in the back of your spine to stabilize it and facilitate fusion after decompression.

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What is Spine stabilization surgery?

A spinal fusion is a spine surgery that is performed to eliminate the motion at a painful vertebral segment. In this procedure, two or more spine vertebrae are permanently connected to reduce the pain produced from the joint.

The different techniques designed in spinal fusion are in accordance with the normal healing process followed in broken bones.

During this treatment, the surgeon adds a bone-like material or bone between two or more spinal vertebrae. Screws, rods, and metal plates can be used to hold and connect the vertebrae so they can heal and grow in one long bone together.

What is the Pre-Surgery preparations ?

Before taking this treatment it is necessary to mention any ongoing medications, allergies, or other critical conditions.

This prior examination allows the medical staff to provide the patient with an accurate amount of the following,

  • Anesthesia

  • Pre-surgery medical treatment

  • Surgery monitoring

  • Post-surgery care and pain management

This preoperative evaluation process is important as it provides opportunities for the primary care physician, surgeon, treating specialists, anesthesiologist, and the patient to discuss concerns or risks associated before and after the surgery.

What is the Procedure for Spine stabilization surgery?

Today, expert surgeons have developed multiple advanced techniques to execute spinal stabilization surgery.

The selected method which needs to be performed by the surgeon depends on various factors such as the cause of spinal fusion, vertebrae location, general health, and the body shape of the patient in some cases.

Spinal fusion is performed under normal anesthesia when the patient becomes unconscious. 

Broadly the treatment can be of two types,

  • Open Surgery

  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Let's look at each of the types in detail,

Open Surgery

In this method, there are three different stages:


In this stage, an incision is made in one of these areas: on either side of your spine, in your neck, or directly over your spine in the back, or in your throat or abdomen to gain access to the vertebrae to be fused from the front.

Bone graft preparation: 

In this process, a bone graft that is needed to connect the vertebral segment can be taken from your other body part such as the pelvis.

 The surgeon will make a small incision above the pelvic bone to take a small portion of the bone graft. After that, the incision is closed.


For the permanent connection of the vertebrae, the prepared bone graft material is fused in between the vertebral space.

This bone graft will further grow into a single long bone which stabilizes the spine. Generally, rods, screws, or metal plates are used to hold the vertebrae. 

In some of the selected cases, experts replace the use of bone graft with synthetic substances. These synthetic substances fasten the fusion process and promote bone growth.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Minimally invasive treatments are preferred by most of the patients as the risks associated with the process are less.

In comparison with open spine surgery treatment, these approaches are safer, quicker, and require less recovery time. This is because of less injury to soft tissues and muscles during the procedure.

Benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery are,

  • Lower blood loss

  • Less risk of tissue or muscle damage

  • Smaller skin incisions for better cosmetic results. They can be as small as several millimeters.

  • Quick recovery and less rehabilitation 

  • Post-treatment pain is less

  • Reduced risks to infections

  • Less dependency on pain medications after the surgery

What is the post surgery care to be taken?

Generally, the patient is kept under observation in the hospital for 2-3 days after the surgery. Besides, some discomfort and pain are experienced depending on the extent and location of your spinal fusion surgery. This can be controlled with the prescribed medications.

Contact your doctor in case of any infections after your discharge. Common infections include,

  • Swelling, redness, or pain

  • Shaking chills

  • Wound drainage

  • High fever more than 100.4 F

Healing and fusing of the affected spine bones may take several months. To keep your spine aligned after the surgery, wearing a brace may be recommended.

 Physical therapy is also suggested to learn how to move, stand, sit, and walk after treatment.

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