Spinal fusion is a safe and effective treatment for many types of back pain, including age-related causes of pain. In the United States, the number of people undergoing spinal fusion surgery has been increasing. More than 450,000 spinal fusion surgeries are performed each year in the US.
As a leading complex spine neurosurgeon in Roseville, Minnesota, David Chang, MD-PhD, DABNS, uses advanced spinal fusion surgical techniques to tailor the procedure to each patient’s needs.
Here’s what he wants you to know about the benefits of this time-tested procedure.
As the name implies, spinal fusion surgery uses special techniques to fuse or join two sections of your spine — specifically, two vertebrae (spine bones). To do that, Dr. Chang uses screws, pins, cages, and bone grafts.
Spinal fusion is an appropriate treatment for many people with chronic back pain or radiating pain due to spinal instability or unusual movement in their spine. That includes many people with:
By fusing two vertebrae together, spinal fusion surgery eliminates the movement that causes chronic pain.
In most cases, Dr. Chang recommends spinal fusion only when conservative treatment options have failed. That includes approaches like:
If you’ve tried these approaches and still have pain, Dr. Chang performs a comprehensive evaluation to determine if surgery could help.
Spinal fusion offers an array of benefits, including these five.
Dr. Chang is skilled in minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery, using tiny incisions and special instruments. Minimally invasive surgery is associated with faster recovery times, less bleeding, and less postoperative discomfort, among other benefits.
If you’ve already tried multiple conservative treatments, you’ve probably felt like nothing will help your chronic pain. But by eliminating abnormal spine movement, fusion surgery offers meaningful pain relief within a few weeks and sometimes sooner.
Spinal instability doesn’t just cause pain now. It can also make you more prone to injuries and spinal damage in the future. By fusing the unstable area, we can help prevent those problems while also relieving symptoms.
Most people who need spinal fusion surgery have been experiencing a lot of pain with even simple movements. Because spinal fusion stabilizes the spine, many patients are able to resume most of the activities they love shortly after their recovery.
Spinal fusion surgery, as we know it, has been performed for more than a century, although the techniques and technology have dramatically improved. Today, spinal fusion remains a trusted treatment for many patients with chronic pain that’s unresponsive to conservative management.
Spinal fusion can be an ideal solution for many causes of spine-related pain, but it’s not the best choice for all types of chronic spine pain. Dr. Chang has extensive experience in multiple types of spine surgery, so you can feel confident that he’ll recommend the best option for your needs.
To learn more about spinal fusion and other solutions for chronic spine-related pain, call 651-219-7322 or request an appointment online with Dr. Chang today.