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Spine Surgery

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgery / treatment to permanently connect 2 or more vertebrae in your spine, removing the movement between them. Spinal fusion includes procedures devised to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. During spinal fusion, your surgeon lays down bone or a bone like or similar material within the space between 2 spinal vertebrae. With the help of metal plates, screws and rods the vertebrae can be kept together, so they could heal into one solid unit.

Why it is done

Spinal fusion surgery / treatment permanently joins 2 or more vertebrae in your spine to improve stability, correct a deformity or lower pain. Your primary care physician might recommend spinal fusion to treat:

  • Deformities of the spine - Spinal fusion could help correct spinal deformities, like a sideways curvature of the spine otherwise known as scoliosis.
  • Spinal weakness or instability - Your spine might become unbalanced if there is abnormal or excessive movement between 2 vertebrae. This is a common side effect of serious arthritis in the spine. Spinal fusion could be used to restore spinal stability in such cases.
  • Herniated disc - Spinal fusion might be used to balance the spine after removal of a damaged herniated disc.


Spinal fusion is usually a safe technique. But as with any surgery, spinal fusion carries the potential risk of problems.

Potential problems include:

  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Injury /damage to blood vessels or nerves in and around the spine
  • Pain at the area from which the bone graft is taken

How you prepare

Preparation before surgery might include trimming hair over the surgical area and cleaning the region with a special soap or antiseptic. Additionally, the surgical team might order monitoring of any unhealthy bacteria in your nose by taking a swab sample / specimen. Tell your primary care physician about any medications you are taking. You might be asked to stop taking some medications before the surgery.

What you can expect

During spinal fusion

Surgeons perform spinal fusion while you are under general anesthesia so you are unconscious during the surgery. Surgeons have designed a variety of procedures for performing spinal fusion surgery. The procedures your surgeon uses depend upon the location of the vertebrae to be joined, the reason for the spinal fusion, and in some examples, your general health and body shape.

Usually, the procedure includes the following:

  • Incision
  • Bone graft preparation
  • Fusion

In some cases, some primary care physicians use a synthetic substance instead of bone grafts. These synthetic substances help to promote bone growth and speed up the fusion of the vertebrae.

Dr. David Masel is well versed in minimally invasive surgery techniques to treat neurological disorders affecting the spine. If you or anyone you know is suffering from spinal injuries or spinal cord disorders like:-

  • Herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spina bifida occulta
  • Spine trauma
  • Spinal tumors

Please book an appointment with Dr. Masel, call +1(469) 833-2927 to schedule a consultation.