Spinal Fusion

Spinal Fusion Surgery Arlington, Va

It doesn’t matter if you suffered a spinal injury or if you are an older patient suffering from chronic back pain, living with this pain can be debilitating.

The team at OrthoBethesda in Arlington are leading experts at performing spinal fusions. If you are experiencing lower body pain, then don’t wait. Patients in and near VA should contact OrthoBethesda today to speak with our team about your treatment options. We can give you information about conservative measures and figure out if a spinal fusion surgery would benefit your condition. We will take the time to ensure you fully understand all your choices.


What Is Spinal Fusion?

You have an option for surgery when dealing with back issues. One of those options is spinal fusion surgery, especially if the vertebrae in your spine are damaged or missing. Our surgeons will fuse together two or more vertebrae in an effort to create one bone when it heals.

This type of surgery eliminates the pain you endure when moving about during the day. It can also help your spine recover stability. The team at OrthoBethesda uses the practice of bone grafting during the operation. This process takes smaller pieces of your bones and grafts them into the spaces between the vertebrae of your spine. This helps to fuse the bones together as you heal. Screws and metal rods help to immobilize the bones. You might be required to wear a cast or brace so that you are completely immobilized during recovery.

The motion that occurs between the fused areas of the spine is eliminated once fusion is complete. The pain is often relieved once the spine regains its flexibility. Scoliosis can be stopped in its tracks with this type of procedure. Motion is not limited much at all because only small segments are operated on by the surgeon.

What Back Problems and Symptoms Can be Treated by Spinal Fusion?

If you decide to visit OrthoBethesda because of ongoing pain, we will conduct a complete orthopedic examination, including the following:

  • Reviewing your complete medical history
  • Putting you through a physical exam
  • Conducting diagnostic testing
  • Having a discussion about the surgical and non-surgical remedies available

We prefer to start your treatment with non-surgical remedies if your pain is not chronic. These include physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medications. If the symptoms continue, it could be time to undergo the spinal procedure.

Spinal fusion can help treat the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Pain that is present in the legs, thighs, back, or buttocks.
  • Weakness, tingling, or numbness in the legs
  • Injuries to the vertebrae in the spine
  • A herniated or slipped disc
  • Kyphosis or scoliosis
  • Tumors or infections that lead to instability in the spine

Your Spinal Fusion Surgery

Prior to scheduling the spinal fusion procedure, the doctors from OrthoBethesda will request that you end any medication you are on that could interfere with the procedure and its intended results. The day you are scheduled for the procedure you will be admitted to the hospital and will undergo a prep period. General anesthesia is administered, allowing you to sleep throughout the procedure. It is possible that you could be issued spinal anesthesia if you are not in the right health bracket for general anesthesia. This numbs your body below the waist but you remain awake for the entirety of the procedure.

The surgeon could use one of three techniques, including the following:

  • Anterior approach (approached from the front)
  • Posterior approach (from the back)
  • Lateral approach (from the side)

This procedure typically takes anywhere from one to three hours to complete and the length depends on the damage to your spine. The more damage present, the longer the procedure will take. Ligaments and bones that overlap the nerve roots will be removed, relieving any pressure on the roots. If there is spinal instability at the time of the procedure, the surgeon will perform the fusion at the same time as the removal of the broken items.

What are the Risks of Spinal Fusion Surgery?

The risks of undergoing surgery on your back are low. As with any type of procedure, there are still risks to going under the knife. Complications include the following:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Decreased intestinal function
  • Heart attack or stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Recurrent disc herniations
  • Nerve damage

Even after the procedure, patients might experience lower body pain. The best way to reduce lower body pain is by exercising regularly and keeping a low body weight.

Recovery And Rehabilitation

In the first couple of days following the procedure many patients will experience pain. This pain can be managed with prescribed medication. Proper alignment is important, which is why the team at OrthoBethesda will teach you how to walk, stand, sit, and move to new positions on your own.

You might require help from family members for the first couple of days that you are home after the procedure. You will likely struggle to get dressed, bathe, and feed yourself. You will not be able to drive immediately after the procedure either. Some of the instructions in our post-op pamphlet include:

  • Wound care
  • Eating well-balanced meals
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Low impact workouts once you are able
  • Staying alert to warning signs of blood clots and infection including fever, swelling, chills, and pain

It is important to attend a post-op appointment with your surgeon to make sure that the recovery is going smoothly.

Cost Of Spinal Fusion

The majority of spinal fusion surgeries that occur every year in the United States deal with the lumbar region of the back, which is the low section. This surgery costs roughly $350,000.

Schedule Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery at OrthoBethesda

Pain in the back due to issues with the spine in Virginia is difficult to live with no matter your age. The experienced surgical team at OrthoBethesda can provide you with a minimally invasive procedure to fix your related back issues that could be causing pain in your neck and other areas of your body. Call our Virginia center today to schedule a consultation for care with a surgeon. Our office in Va is clean and follows all Covid 19 safety recommendations from the CDC.