Spinal fusion is an essential surgical procedure used to correct any deformity in the spine, improve its firmness, and for reducing any pain in the backbone. The spinal vertebra may get damaged from the sudden shocking force, injury, weakening disc disease, kyphosis, and scoliosis,etc. The extent of the injury and the condition of the backbone of the patient shall determine the course of medicinal or surgical treatment by the surgeon in charge of your operation.
Why it's done?
The surgical treatment to correct complications of the spinal column is a grave matter, and the physician will normally try out a conservativetactic before going for the surgical direction. The causes your physician may select this certain surgery can be listed as;
• Distortions of the spine:Spinal fusion may be used to make right a structural deformity occurring within the backbone. For example, spinal fusion can be used to correct the sideways deformity of the spine, also known as scoliosis.
The causes that require spinalfusion surgery are usually alike with that which causesdamage in the vertebral column in the first place. The reasons that may need the doctor to go for this surgical procedure may be stated as;
• Sudden forceful attack: Spinal injury may occur due to a brutal attack such as anassault or gunfire, and may require corrective surgery to remedy the distortion caused. Usually, a break or contusion will occur at the site of the wound.
• Headfirst trauma into shallow depth: This is another cause that can endup asimportant backbone problems. Jumping into a narrow water-body, often head first, can cause the force of landing into the hard surface to transfer directly to the spine, which may cause a joltin the spine and need fusion to remedy it.
• Blunt force in upper body:Unexpected and forcefulshock to the face, head and neck area, back, or chest region may cause complications in the spine which may need treatment by this fusion surgery.
• Dropping from above: This is equivalentto the jumping into a shallow pool. The powerful contact with the ground may cause wounds to the spine.
• Electrical accidents: Often, contact with electricity may cause a person to get fiercely thrown across space. Then landing on the hard surface may transfersevere force to the vertebral column and need the fusion surgery to make it better.
• Wounds due to accidents: This complaint may arise due to abrupt shocks during weight training, unsupervised yoga or vehicle accident, which may cause damage to the spinal column. Spinal fusion may be needed to correct the structure.
The procedure of spinal fusion is basically the physical correction of any structural issues occurring in the vertebral column. There may not be any definitesymptom to indicate the association of spinal injuries or concerns. However, some of the below-given symptoms may become the cause that your surgeon can relate to the problem of the spine. The indicators which may take spinal fusion surgery to correct them are stated as;
• Experiencing difficulties in moving
• The problem in bladder or bowel movement
• Inability in the movement of arms and legs
• Feelings of growinginsensitivity
• Burning in the limbs or end of the fingers
• Back pain
• Heavinessand stiffnessin the back
• Hintsof shock
• The strangesetting of the head
The injuries of the spine are largely detected by different imaging techniques; although, in some circumstances, the test of steadiness and nerve functions may become essential to appreciate the difficulties. The different methods which can help your doctor understand the state of your spine and prescribe a fusion operation may be listed as;
• CT scans
A computerized tomography scan (CT or CAT scan) uses processers and a rotating X-ray machine to create cross-sectional images of the backbone. These pictures provide more detailed information than typical X-ray images. They are used to check the soft muscles, blood vessels, and skeletons in various parts of the body.
This system uses a high-powered magnetic field to create a 3D image of the body. This method can show the comprehensive situation and the progress of treatment for the spinal injury.
This is a well-known technique in which radiations of lesser wavelength are used that enters the soft tissues and displays an image of the internal bones and joints.
• Movement testing
The doctor can test for the time taken for an impulse to reach the brain and thereby determine whether there is any need for spinal fusion surgery.
Spinal fusion surgery requires the backbone to be exposed so that there are some risks involved in the operation. The risks that are associated with this surgery can be listed as:
• High fever
• Drainage of fluid from the surgical wounds
• Having problems in movement.
• Severe pain in the place of operation.
• Swelling and tenderness.
• The doctor may give you complete rest for two-three days.
• You may feel some pain in the operated site but it is treatable by medicines.
• Braces may be recommended by the surgeon in charge to keep in the orientation of your backbone accurate.
• You may be treated with physiotherapy to speed up the healing process and sustaining the positioning of the spine.
• Mild exercises may be given to guarantee the preservation of functions.
• The doctor may tell you not to lift up any heavy objects for the timebeing.
After it has been established that the treatment shall now need to be performed by surgery, the doctors will provide you some guidelines for the forthcoming operation. The rules the physician may give you to follow before and during the procedure are:
Before the treatment
The hospital personnel will read for your case history, any alcohol or drug use, earlier medical histories, any aversions,etc. Then they will monitor your pulse and blood pressure.Imagingof your spine by different methods will be done before the operation.
Before the procedure, you will be numbed at the location of the incision or will be made fully senseless according to the type of anesthesia determined by the anesthesiologist. Any individual items like ornaments, piercings, dentures, contact lenses will have to be removed during the process.The surgical team may give you a course of antibiotics to monitor the growth of unhealthy bacteria.
During the procedure
• You will be placed in a position with the chest facing down.
• The part where the incision will be made will have body hair shaved off.
• You will be given general or localized anesthesia according to the surgery.
• The donor bone or the bone-implant that will be used is positioned between the bones needed to be joined. The pelvicbone is chosen if the bone graft is taken from the patient body itself.
• Metal plates, screws or rods may be applied to keep the vertebrae in the required position while the surgery wound gets healed completely.
FACTORS AFFECTING COST
The rate of the treatment may be governed by the following features;
i. The cost of the grafts
ii. The cost of medications
iii. The fees of the surgeon
iv. The hospital charges.
The recovery time from a spinal fusion surgery may depend upon the procedures undertaken. The symptoms may improve after a few weeks, while the bone may take closer to a year to heal fully.
The complications that may occur are not frequent and nothing more serious than what occurs in normal operation.
Climbing stairs will most probably be restricted by your surgeon for some weeks after the fusion surgery.