You asked: What is spinal fixation surgery?

Vertebral fixation (also known as “spinal fixation”) is an orthopedic surgical procedure in which two or more vertebrae are anchored to each other through a synthetic “vertebral fixation device”, with the aim of reducing vertebral mobility and thus avoiding possible damage to the spinal cord and/or spinal roots.

How long does spinal fixation surgery take?

The whole procedure may take several hours. Your surgeon will prepare the bone graft that will be used to fuse the two vertebrae. If your own bone is being used, your surgeon will make a cut above the pelvic bone and remove a small section of it.

Is spinal fixation the same as spinal fusion?

PLF is usually accompanied by fixation. In most cases, spinal fusion is augmented by a process of internal fixation of the spine known as spinal fixation. This involves the placement of metallic screws, wire loops, hooks, rods, plates or cages to stabilise the vertebrae and facilitate bone fusion.

What is fixation of the spine?

Internal fixation is used to maintain position and alignment and to prevent motion as the spine fuses. Plates and rods are attached to the vertebral body or posterior elements with wire, screws, and hooks. Screws and wire can also be used alone as a means of fixation.

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Can you live a normal life after spinal fusion?

Even people requiring bigger surgeries like spinal fusion are 90% likely to return to work and stay at work long term. While most people recover from back pain through exercise and healthy lifestyles, those who require surgery can expect to return to work and “get their life back” too.

How bad is the pain after spinal fusion surgery?

After surgery, pain is no longer achy and arthritic but stems from wound healing, swelling and inflammation. You will experience some pain outside of the hospital. For most back surgeries, it will take 1-1.5 months to resume “normal” mobility and function. During this time, pain should be tolerable and controlled.

Can screws come loose after spinal fusion?

Pedicle screw loosening is a common complication after spine surgeries. Traditionally, it was assessed by radiological approaches, both X-ray and CT (computed tomography) scan, while reports using mechanical method to study screw loosening after spine surgery are rare.

Does a spinal fusion last forever?

The results of a fusion are permanent. When the bones fuse as intended, it changes the natural mobility of your spine, affecting the area around the surgical site and in various body parts as well.

What are some of the standard fixation procedures used in spine surgery?

The standard surgical procedure for rigid spinal fixation involves the use of pedicle screws, rods and plates.

How is spinal surgery done?

Spinal laminectomy/spinal decompression. This is performed when spinal stenosis causes a narrowing of the spinal canal that results in pain, numbness, or weakness. The surgeon removes the bony walls of the vertebrae and any bone spurs, aiming to open up the spinal column to remove pressure on the nerves.

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How serious is spine surgery?

With any surgery, there is the risk of complications. When surgery is done near the spine and spinal cord, these complications (if they occur) can be very serious. Complications could involve subsequent pain and impairment and the need for additional surgery.

Is back surgery worth the risk?

Fact: When it comes to back pain, surgery can be a lifesaver for many patients. Success rates vary by type of procedure, but they tend to be impressive. For example, spine surgery for lower back or leg pain has a success rate of between 70 to 90 percent, depending on the specific condition being treated.

How difficult is spinal surgery?

Any type of back surgery requires surgical skill and a patient’s commitment to proper rehabilitation. But one category of back surgery called “complex spine surgery” is the most difficult to perform, and requires the highest level of patient commitment to be successful.

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