By Brooke Strickland and Dr. Andrew Cash
Posterior lumbar fusion is a common type of surgery used to mend two or more spine bones in the lower back. When the bones are joined together during surgery using a bone graft, they will eventually heal and form into one solid bone.
This type of surgery is most commonly used to treat spondyloisthesis, spinal fractures, tumors, infections, and scoliosis, but it can also help other spinal conditions as well. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision, approximately three to four inches long, through the muscles in the lower back. The surgery can range from two to five hours, depending on how many vertebrae are involved.
Post operatively, patients can usually go home within a few days of surgery. Many times, patients require a brace to assist in walking or getting in and out of bed. Usually patients recovering from this surgery can begin bending, lifting, and twisting within four to six weeks of surgery, and once the muscles begin getting stronger. Physical therapy can also be required depending on the extent of the surgery.
The surgery has a very high success rate and many patients have reported that back pain has lessened significantly and many of them can resume normal or recreational duties once healing occurs.
For more information on this procedure, contact Dr. Cash at www.disclv.com.