What is Spinal Fusion And When is It Performed?
Fusion means joining two things together. In a spinal fusion surgery, two or more vertebrae are joined or fused together to ease pain and correct the postural deformities of the body. In many cases, a spinal fusion is done to add stability to the spine and give strength to it. This surgery helps to correct the problems in the small bones by fusing them together with the help of another bone. There are different types of spinal fusion surgeries depending upon the type of disease that needs to be cured. There are several medical tourism companies in India that can help you choose the best hospital for the treatment.
These are the main problems that need spinal surgery treatment.
A spinal injury can be painful, there can be many reasons for a spinal injury. To cure it and reduce the pain, it is important that spinal fusion is done. This surgery helps to ease the movement of the spine by targeting the area which is painful. There are several cases in which spinal surgery is recommended. So the main reasons are mentioned for you below.
- When a vertebra in the spine gets fractured, it makes the spinal column unstable. In such a case it is necessary that a spinal fusion is performed to provide strength and posture to the body.
- In the case where a patient’s spine gets curved in the S or C shaped structure. This condition is called scoliosis. Extreme cases of scoliosis can damage the body organs and that is why it is important to perform the surgery to correct the posture.
- In the case of Kyphosis, where the spine bends in a forward curve, spinal fusion is done to correct the spine posture.
- When a patient has tumors or due to physical conditions like arthritis, they experience instability in maintaining a good posture then a spinal surgery is carried out to take care of the spine.
- If a patient experiences degenerative disk disease in which the discs in the back start to lose their strength. This problem is painful and might turn into a serious injury if not treated right on time. In such a case the spinal fusion is performed to rehabilitate the patient.
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When a patient has any of the above-mentioned issues or experiences symptoms related to the troubles mentioned above then a spinal fusion surgery might be performed. different exams are carried out to check whether the patient is capable of handling the after-effects. Once the preoperative testing is complete then the patient can prepare for surgery.
Before the surgery begins, the patient must ensure that they are ready to make the lifestyle changes that will come along with the surgery. Changes like –
- The patient will have to quit smoking and drinking habits as they might hinder the process of complete spinal recovery.
- In case if the patient has any illnesses like herpes, flu or a simple cold, then they will have to inform the surgeon prior to the surgery about the condition.
- The patient will also have to inform the surgeon about the medicines being taken by the patient if any.
Once every formality is done the patient will be ready for spinal fusion surgery. The cost of spinal fusion surgery in India is very nominal when compared to other countries. With experienced doctors and imported latest technology machines, India makes up one of the best locations for foreigners to get treated for spinal problems.
What is the procedure of a spinal fusion?
Spinal fusion surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. A patient is given the anesthesia and made to lie down. A blood pressure monitor and a heartbeat monitor is attached to the patient so that the doctor is able to notice their blood pressure and keep a check on their heartbeat. When the surgery begins, the doctor prepares a bone graft. A bone graft is an extra bone that is required to fix the two vertebrates together. The doctor prepares a bone graft, it can be a piece of bone from the patient’s body or it can also be an artificial bone as well. Once the bone graft is ready, then an incision in the patient’s body is made for the fusion process. Depending on the type of disease and type of fusion that will be performed to cure the problem, the site of incision is finalized. While fixing the bone graft in the body of the patient, the use of screws and plates is done to keep the spine stable. Once the fusion is complete, then the patient is asked to stay in the hospital for a period of recovery. Once the patient has recovered completely, they can take a discharge.
Complications that might arise in Spinal Fusion:
There can be several complications that can arise while the surgery is being performed. While performing the surgery, patients can experience heart attacks and infections. There can be heavy blood loss and the case can become severe as well. The patients can have unhealed wounds and in some severe cases, even the spinal nerves can get damaged. Blood clot is one of the common complications that might arise after the surgery. If such a case happens where a patient experiences symptoms like calf pain, groin pain and shortness of breath, the patient is suggested to contact their doctor immediately.