Failed Spinal Fusion Surgery in West Bloomfield, MI

Failed Spinal Fusion

Spinal Fusion Surgery is a surgical procedure where vertebrae, two or more, are fused together into one. There is no space between them, and they are considered one bone. This is usually done to prevent movement between the bones and to prevent back pain. This surgery is often done when other methods, such as physical therapy or medication, have not helped back pain.

How is the Spinal Fusion Surgery done?

The procedure can be done two ways. One way is to go in from the back. This is called Posterior Fusion. Another way is to go in from the belly. This is called Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion.

After making the incision, your doctor moves the muscles, tissues, and other structures to the side to see the spine. Then, the doctor removes the joint(s) between the damaged disks. He will use screws, rods, or grafts (from another part of your body, or from a donor) to connect the disks and keep them from shifting/moving.

While the success rate of single-level fusions is relatively high at around 40-80%, the rate drops substantially for multi-level fusions to around 15%. When a Spinal Fusion Surgery fails, the pain continues even though the bone graft has been placed between the vertebrae. This is called Pseudoarthrosis.

Symptoms of Failed Spinal Fusion Surgery

Besides continued pain, symptoms of failed Spinal Fusion Surgery include: numbness, or pain in the legs, arms, hands, and feet, nausea, pain at the infusion site, infection, swelling in the calves, feet, or legs, and loss of bladder or bowel control.

Failed Spinal Fusion Surgery

Types of Treatment

There are two options for correcting failed Spinal Fusion Surgery. One is known as Laser Discectomy. This usually offers immediate relief and is performed under local anesthesia. In this procedure, special surgical tools are fed through a small incision, and the remaining nerve compression is relieved. The surgeon removes any dead material, with the help of an endoscope, and he uses a laser to reshape the disc, and eliminate the tissue causing problems.

The second option is known as Laser Foraminoplasty. This is performed by the surgeon introducing an endoscopic camera through a tiny incision. This gives him a clear view of the narrowed foramen. Scar tissue that is resulting from bone spurs, previous surgery, or deceased disc material are vaporized with a precise laser.

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