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If you suffer from chronic back or neck pain that worsens with movement, spinal fusion surgery may significantly reduce or even eliminate your pain. Zak Ibrahim, MD, and the team at South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C., which has locations in Centennial and Castle Rock, Colorado, and another in Garden City, Kansas, provide spinal fusion procedures using state-of-the-art technology. Dr. Ibrahim performs many spinal fusions minimally invasively with robotic technology, enabling the patient to go home the same day. To schedule a consultation for spinal fusion surgery, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Spinal fusion surgery permanently connects two or more of your vertebrae so they can no longer move individually. Essentially, this “welding” of vertebrae can improve stability, correct a spinal deformity, or reduce long-term pain. It’s often recommended for spinal problems such as:
Dr. Ibrahim typically only recommends spinal fusion when he can accurately pinpoint the source of your pain. If he knows that your pain comes from moving two or more specific vertebrae, he can fuse those bones together to prevent further motion, which in turn reduces pain and restores spinal stability.
The specifics of spinal fusion procedures depend on which vertebrae will be fused together, but typically, you’ll be under general anesthesia during surgery.
Typically, spinal fusion involves an incision to gain access to the vertebrae in your neck or back. Dr. Ibrahim can access your spine from the back or the front of your body, such as through your abdomen or neck.
Next, he prepares the bone grafts he needs in order to fuse your vertebrae together. Sometimes the bone graft comes from your own body or a bone bank. Dr. Ibrahim may also use synthetic materials to help promote bone growth and speed up the fusion of your vertebrae.
Finally, Dr. Ibrahim fuses the vertebrae together, using the bone graft material. He may also use screws, rods, or metal plates to keep your spine in place while the bones heal.
You can expect to stay in the hospital for 1-3 days after spinal fusion surgery. It may take several months until your bones completely fuse together. Nevertheless, expect to feel much better within several weeks of your surgery. You’ll need to wear a brace for a while to keep your spine properly aligned and add support as you recover.
Everyone is different, so your recovery depends on factors like your overall health and the extent of your surgery. You’ll most likely experience some pain and discomfort for the first several days, but that should decrease as you begin the healing process.
Physical therapy can help as you recover so you can move, sit, and stand properly as your body heals with your spine in its correct position.
If you’ve tried nonsurgical pain-relief methods without success, spinal fusion surgery may offer long-term relief. To see if robotically-guided, minimally invasive spinal fusion is right for you, call South Denver Spine & Robotics, P.C., or request an appointment online today.