A lumbar fusion is an operation to stabilize the lower back by creating bony bridges between at least two vertebrae and eliminating motion between them. This can be accomplished by fusing the vertebral bodies in front (anterior fusion) or by fusing the facet joints and lamina in the back (posterior fusion). Bone or bone substitutes can be placed on and between the lamina and the facet joints. Metal screws and rods, or plates, may be attached to the bones to secure the fixation while the bony bridge heals.
During the operation, a four-to-five inch incision is made in the lower back and the muscles supporting the spine are divided. A small window is made in the sheet of bone (lamina) covering the spinal cord. Next, the surgeon removes any ruptured disc material or bone spurs that are pinching the nerves or spinal cord. The site is then prepared for fusion by obtaining bone graft and/or bone substitute and laying it on the bone. Metal screws and rods or plates may be attached to the bones to secure fixation while the bone heals. The operation typically takes two to three hours; however it may be longer, depending on the complexity of the problem and the number of vertebrae needing to be fused.
When everyday activities such as walking, shopping or working become difficult and unbearable, it may be time to seek professional care. Whether you have a long-term or recent spine problem, our experts will evaluate, diagnose and treat your spine issue with specialized skill and care.
This setting allows you to view available services and providers associated with your preferred location. You can change this setting at any time.
Cookies are required to view location-specific content.
We’ve developed a new tool on our website allowing you to see content most relevant to you and your preferred location. It’s our way of making the information you need, more personalized.
You’ll find this feature labeled “Set My Location” throughout the website. Most often, you’ll see it in the top left corner of every page.
You’ll also find a feature that allows you to set your location temporarily, as seen below.