Spinal Fusion Specialist
Spinal fusion relieves severe back pain and improves spinal stability for various conditions, including fractured vertebrae. Skilled orthopedic surgeon Dr. Faisal Mahmood has extensive experience performing spinal fusion surgeries at One Oak Medical, practicing at the offices in Wayne, Paramus, Middletown, and Point Pleasant, New Jersey, as well as Staten Island, New York. To find out it spinal fusion is right for you, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Spinal Fusion Q & A
What is spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that connects, or fuses, two or more vertebrae in your backbone. Vertebrae are the individual pieces of bone that stack on top of one another to create a flexible spine.
During spinal fusion surgery, Dr. Mahmood uses a bone graft, often along with metal plates, screws, or rods, to hold your vertebrae together until they heal into one solid bone.
Fusing two or more vertebrae together eliminates movement between the bones. This technique mimics your body’s natural process of healing broken bones and makes your spine more stable. However, spinal fusion changes how you’re able to move your back due to a lack of mobility in the connected vertebrae.
When is spinal fusion surgery necessary?
If you suffer from severe back pain, spinal instability, or a deformity that doesn’t improve with conservative treatment, Dr. Mahmood may recommend spinal fusion. This procedure is a safe and effective treatment for several back problems, including:
- Broken vertebrae
- Degenerative disc disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Spinal deformities such as scoliosis
- Spinal instability from arthritis or another condition
What happens during a spinal fusion procedure?
Before surgery, Dr. Mahmood carefully evaluates your back to pinpoint the source of pain and ensure you’re a good candidate for spinal fusion. He may take imaging tests of your spine, such as an X-ray or MRI.
Then, he creates a personalized surgical plan to treat your condition. There are a variety of techniques and approaches Dr. Mahmood may utilize during spinal fusion, including:
To access your vertebrae, Dr. Mahmood makes an incision in one of the following locations:
- Lower abdomen (anterior approach)
- Back (posterior approach)
- Side (lateral approach)
Dr. Mahmood places bone material, called a graft, into the space between your vertebrae to promote fusion. There are several options for bone graft material, including:
- Bone from your hip (autograft)
- Bone from a bone bank (allograft)
- Artificial bone graft materials
In most cases, but not all, Dr. Mahmood uses metal rods, screws, or plates to hold your spine in place while the bones fuse. He may also suggest you wear a back brace while your spine heals.
To learn more about spinal fusion surgery, call One Oak Medical or schedule an appointment online today.