Epidural after spinal fusion - Doctor answers

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How does a spinal fusion work?

How does a spinal fusion work?

Stops motion: The purpose of a lumbar fusion procedure is to stabilize the segment in the lumbar spine. It stops motion in that segment to treat back pain and possibly nerve root compression leading to leg pain, weakness, numbness, or any combination of those. It relies on removing the disc and replacing with bone graft. In addition, screws and rods are used to hold this in place while the fusion occurs. ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
1,119 Doctors shared insights

Spinal Fusion (Definition)

Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation ...Read more


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How painful is a spinal fusion?

How painful is a spinal fusion?

Varies: This varies as to the diagnosis, your age, the extent & location of your surgery, what type of procedure that was done, whether you smoke & if this is your first back surgery. It also depends on how tolerant you are to pain medication in terms of how much & how long you may have been on medication preop. Depression can also magnify pain & if in pain for 6 months or longer, higher risk depression. ...Read more

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How much pain is a spinal fusion?

How much pain is a spinal fusion?

A tough two weeks: The first two weeks are tough. Make sure you have help. Most people get spinal fusion because they already are in constant pain. If the fusion works then you will start to feel better. If you smoke then quit now this will help you heal. If not a smoker don't start. :)
good luck. ...Read more

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How can a spinal fusion slip forward?

How can a spinal fusion slip forward?

Failure to fuse: The goal of fusion surgery is to cause bones of the spine to grow together. If a fusion is successful, then two or possibly more bones joined as one. Usually this is accomplished by removing the disc between each two bones being fused and replacing it with something to stimulate fusion of the bones. If the fusion does not occur, then the superior vertebrae may slip forward (called listhesis). ...Read more

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How can a spinal fusion slip forward?

Pseudoarthrosis: If a bony fusion doesn't heal properly (pseudoarthrosis or failed fusion) then it may slip forward over time. It may also cause pain and result in broken hardware. This is more common in tobacco users, diabetics, obesity, and other conditions. A ct scan can be used to assess the fusion. Revision spinal fusion may be necessary. ...Read more

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Is the spinal fusion a risky thing to do?

Yes: Major spine surgery has small risk of life changing complication associated and failure to relieve symptoms consider carefully nonunion failed back surgery make sure benefits outweigh risks. And the pain generator is well lidentified by diagnostic injections. ...Read more

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What does it mean to have a spinal fusion?

Joining bones: A spinal fusion is eliminating a motion segment of the spine by making bones heal together. There are many different techniques used for a variety of reasons or indications. ...Read more

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What is the definition or description of: spinal fusion?

A spinal fusion is a: Surgery to cause two or more spine segments to be joined together through a growth of bone initiated by the placement of bone tissue or graft taken from the patient or from a donor source or even a manufactured source which could include: bone growth proteins and particulate structures that act as scaffolds for bone to grow on and may include implants or instrumentation to enhance healing rates. ...Read more

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What spinal fusion surgery?

What spinal fusion surgery?

Joining bone togethe: A spinal fusion is a procedure used to join two spinal motion units together. It is designed to stop all motion of the motion segment. It may be performed with or without the usages of screws and rods. It is performed for spinal instability. It is like welding 2 pieces of metal together. ...Read more

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How harmful is a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends if it: Is necessary. If you are having motor weakness or instability of the spine, then it is beneficial. If you are not, then follow up on other options as these surgeries, when not indicated, more often then not trade pain at one level for pain at the next level from the fusion. These surgeries can lead to pain if not needed, so make sure it is absolute necessary before moving ahead. ...Read more

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How serious is cervical spinal fusion.?

How serious is cervical spinal fusion.?

A common procedure: Cervical spinal fusion for a herniated cervical disc is a common procedure done by neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons. There are certainly risks to the surgery, but in the proper hands the outcomes are excellent. You also need to evaluate the situation and ensure that the symptoms can be treated effectively with the fusion. ...Read more

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After spinal fusion, can I start running?

Back fusion: Yes, but only after your physician tells you it is ok to return to running and instructs you on what and what you cannot do. ...Read more

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What happens after a spinal fusion surgery?

What happens after a spinal fusion surgery?

Depends: There are many types of spinal fusion procedures, with different anatomical approaches, locations, implants, and techniques. The most important aspect of the surgery is the actual bone growth that occurs over months (yrs) that causes the bones treated to fuse (connect) with a solid bone connection. For more specific information, talk to your surgeon. ...Read more

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How dangerous is a spinal fusion operation?

This really depends: On the health & age of the patient, the extent of the surgery in terms of number of levels, stages and reason for the surgery as well as the skill and expertise of the surgeon. If medically stable for this surgery, not obese, not a smoker, not diabetic, not over 60, not a revision surgery, then rates of complications are low but not zero with a very low mortality rate. ...Read more

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What to do if I have spinal fusion surgery?

What to do if I have spinal fusion surgery?

Go slow: Avoid lifting over 10 lbs, or excessive bending or twisting. Where was the location of the operation? Lumbar or cervical spine? (lower back or neck?)
walking is usually good. Ask your surgeon to be sure.
Would continue to use a brace. ...Read more

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Will the tens device work for spinal fusion?

Will the tens device work for spinal fusion?

No: No, but a bone stimulator might. Nothing makes up for lousy carpentry so - pick your surgeon wisely. Are you sure that you got a problem fusion will fix (e.g. Spinal instability)? . Vague symptoms ("back pain") rarely get better with fusions. The nerve decompression portion of the case needs to be handled well also (unusual for a 34 year old to need a fusion, double check on the indication. .. ...Read more

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Which patients should consider spinal fusion?

Limited: Only a very small subset of patients will benefit from spinal fusion. It is typically people with either instability or a condition that requires destabilization of the spine to fix another condition. This is one of the hardest things to sort out when faced with a patient with back or leg pain - who will fall into this very small category. ...Read more

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I was wondering is a spinal fusion a good idea?

I was wondering is a spinal fusion a good idea?

Spine fusion: A spine fusion is a good idea when the person needing the operation has major instability, has exhausted nonoperative measures, and there is major interruption in activities of daily living due to pain. Discuss all the options with a specialist in spine surgery to determine if a fusion is right for you. ...Read more

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Do you know about a spinal fusion or hydromyelia?

Do you know about a spinal fusion or hydromyelia?

2 different things: Spinal fusion is fusion of two or more vertebrae by bone graft or metallic rods and screws. Fusion stops movement of unstable bones or can reduce curvature in scoliosis and prevent progression. Hydromyelia is abnormal widening of the central canal of the spinal cord that creates a cavity in which cerebrospinal fluid accumulates. As spinal fluid builds up pressure on the spinal cord and nerve cells ...Read more

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How straight could my back be after spinal fusion?

How straight could my back be after spinal fusion?

Depends: The outcome of a spinal fusion can be related to the re-alignment of the spine in what we consider sagittal and coronal planes. Spinal deformity surgery aims to maintain balance while correcting curvature and rotation to more "normal" parameters. Perfectly straight back alignment may not be as good as a well-balanced reconstruction. Speak with your surgeon about what to expect. ...Read more

Dr. Marvin Ott
2 Doctors shared insights

Epidural (Definition)

The epidural space is an anatomical space just outside the fluid filled sac that contains the spinal cord and brain. Anesthesiologists and pain physicians are skilled at placing needles or catheters (tubes) into this space in the spinal canal to administer medications. These medicines can treat the pain of surgery or labor. These medicines can also be used to treat chronic ...Read more


Fusion (Definition)

A fusion gets rid of a joint or disk between to bones, getting the bones to join together with bone between them. If successful, it eliminates almost all the motion between the bones. Sometimes fusion simply occur as a result of disease, rarely from aging. Most of the time ...Read more