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What is Lumbar Fusion?

Spinal fusion, also called arthrodesis, is a surgical technique used to join two or more vertebrae (bones) within the spine. Lumbar fusion is the fusion the vertebrae in the lumbar portion of the spine (lower back).

Indications of Lumbar Fusion

  • Lumbar fusion surgery may be used to treat
  • Spondylolisthesis (slipping of the vertebrae)
  • Degenerated discs
  • Scoliosis or kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine)
  • Spinal infections or tumors
  • Traumatic injury of the spine
  • Recurrent disc herniation
  • Unstable spine

Posterior Lumbar Fusion Procedure

The surgery can be performed as an open or laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery. Posterior spinal fusion is a procedure where your surgeon makes an incision on your back to expose the spine. The soft tissues and blood vessels are kept apart to avoid damage.

In spinal fusion, a piece of bone, taken from other parts of the body or donated from a bone bank is transplanted between the adjacent vertebrae. Screws, plates or cages may be used with the bone graft to help hold the spine.