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Spinal Fusion

Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI)

Neurological Surgery & Neurointerventional Surgeons located in Pomona, CA & Arcadia, CA

After a discectomy or decompression surgery, it's often necessary to perform spinal fusion to stabilize your spine. The highly talented surgeons at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) in Pomona and Arcadia, California, specialize in performing minimally invasive spinal fusion that limits tissue damage and hastens your recovery. To benefit from the superior skills of the Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) team, call their office or use the online booking form to request a consultation today.

Spinal Fusion Q & A

What is spinal fusion?

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Spinal fusion surgically joins two or more vertebrae together permanently. It involves removing a damaged intervertebral disc or other tissues from your spine and inserting a fusion cage between the vertebrae.

Your surgeon at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) places natural bone or an artificial grafting material in the back and along the side of your vertebrae. Rods and screws might also be necessary to ensure effective stabilization of your spine.

The graft prompts your body to grow new bone that covers the implanted material and fuses a pair of vertebrae to form a single bone.

Why would I need spinal fusion?

You might benefit from spinal fusion if you're suffering from a painful back or neck condition that's having a serious impact on your mobility and quality of life. Conditions that can result in these problems include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative facet joint disease
  • Spinal trauma
  • Spinal infection
  • Neoplasia and tumors
  • Spondylolisthesis

For most patients with back and neck pain due to causes like these, nonsurgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and steroid injections effectively restore function and relieve discomfort. However, a minority of people don't improve with these options, which is when spinal fusion becomes a potential solution.

Are there different approaches to spinal fusion?

There are several potential approaches to spinal fusion, including:

  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
  • Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF)

The highly skilled surgeons at Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) specialize in performing minimally invasive spinal fusion using computer guidance and techniques like extreme lateral interbody fusion (XLIF).

Rather than making a sizable incision in the back or front of your body, your surgeon makes small incisions in your side (lateral approach), then uses retractors to ease the muscles and other tissues aside.

This approach causes minimal damage, which means you lose less blood, experience less postsurgical pain, and recover far more quickly.

How long does it take to recover from spinal fusion?

Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgeries like XLIF only require a brief one or two-day stay in the hospital at most, and suitable patients can have them as outpatient procedures.

You should be able to walk the same day as your spinal fusion surgery and get back to many of your usual activities after resting for a couple of weeks.

You also need to complete a program of physical therapy, which helps you regain strength in your spine and adjust to the fusion.

To see whether spinal fusion could help ease your chronic neck or back pain, call Inland Neurosurgery Institute (INI) today or request an appointment online.