Lumbar fusion surgery is a necessary operation for those with ongoing back problems. If your doctor can’t solve your spine problems any other way, he will recommend the surgical option. Although spine surgery might seem like an excessively painful process, there are many benefits to the surgery. If your operation is successful, these benefits far outweigh the potential cons of life without the surgery. This article explores some of those benefits to help you decide whether lumbar fusion surgery is right for you.
A Brief Overview of Lumbar Fusion Surgery
Your spine is made up of vertebrae that stack on top of one another to create the spinal column. The vertebrae of your back can suffer injury and become damaged. Damage might include bone spurs or repetitive strain. If the damage is severe enough to warrant a lumbar spinal fusion procedure, your doctor will recommend you for the operation.
Lumbar fusion is a common surgical procedure that involves grafting bone between the vertebrae on your back to immobilize the troublesome vertebrae. After the bone graft, the recovery time allows the bones to fuse together, stabilizing the vertebrae and eliminating the pain or immobility caused by excessive movement.
Your doctor might recommend lumbar fusion surgery if you:
- Have severe degenerative disc disease
- If you have ongoing lower back pain with no other treatable options
- If your doctor has exhausted all other treatment opportunities
- If improper vertebrae spacing is putting pressure on your nerves
- If decompression surgery does not work
Spinal fusion is a major surgery that lasts for several hours. It will be 12 weeks after surgery before you can consider a return to strenuous exercise. Why, then, would you consider the procedure? Because it will change your life for the better.
The Benefits of Lumbar Fusion Surgery
Now that we know a little more about the procedure, we can examine those benefits in greater detail.
The main reason to choose this type of spine surgery is to reduce the amount of ongoing or recurring pain you experience in your life. Back pain can completely ruin your life. In the worst cases, it will reduce your mobility and cause extreme pain. Ongoing treatment for pain can lead to additional medical costs for medications and even an addiction to medications. The only effective way to eliminate the pain entirely is through surgery.
Problems with the spinal column cause muscle fatigue, which is painful on its own. It is like the fatigue sports people get in specific muscle groups, although this time is limited to the back. This rested feeling improves your overall quality of life.
The second real reason to have a lumbar fusion surgery is to provide stability to the spine. Although this surgery treats conditions, it can also be a precursor to decompression surgery, a slightly different spine operation. Decompression requires the extra stability of the spinal column to help relieve the pressure on your nerves.
With better stability comes a better balance of the spinal column. This means any loose vertebrae which were causing pain through movement are no longer a problem.
Before you receive this type of surgery, you will experience contractures of the muscles around your spine. This leads to pain, excessive tension, and further damage to the vertebrae in your back. After surgery, you should not experience these muscle contractures. This leaves you pain-free and able to move better than you could before surgery.
All these benefits add up to a greater range of mobility. The better your mobility, the more active you can remain.
Is Lumbar Fusion Surgery for You?
Weigh up the benefits versus your current pain level and decide that lumber fusion may well be the best option for you.