In general, lumbar fusions are indicated to restore alignment and stabilize the spine while also relieving pressure on nerves. Some common diagnoses requiring a lumbar fusion include spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease, and degenerative scoliosis.
How do I know I need a fusion?
Most patients experience back pain radiating down one or both legs with associated numbness, tingling, or weakness. Surgery is indicated when non-operative treatments provide inadequate relief of symptoms and the symptoms significantly limit functioning and overall quality of life.
How does a fusion treat the symptoms?
When a damaged disc is removed and normal disc height is restored with the spacer, pressure is relieved from the nerves. The screws and rods then provide stabilization to prevent painful abnormal motion and stress on the spine.