Personalized treatments for people with back pain and spine disorders
Published: Nov. 15, 2010
Updated: Nov. 17, 2010
A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure in which two or more consecutive vertebrae are joined together by a bone grafting material.
This material may be an autograft (bone that is taken from another area of your body), allograft (bone from a donor), or a synthetic material. This extra bone is placed in between the two vertebrae. When it heals it becomes one bone.
Your physicians will use the information from an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or computed tomography (CT) scan to confirm the diagnosis prior to undergoing surgery.
The length of the hospital stay will depend on the number of levels fused, but is usually between two and four days.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. Bone healing usually does not occur until about six months or more following your surgery.
Depending on your progress after surgery, you may be referred for physical therapy to help with muscle strengthening and range of motion.
Some patients are able to return to a non-strenuous job about six weeks after surgery. On the other hand, some patients may take up to six months to fully recover.