When an intervertebral disc breaks down, it can lead to bone-on-bone abrasion. The subsequent pain that such a condition can produce may warrant spinal fusion surgery. This procedure removes the damaged disc and fuses the vertebrae on either side of it. Though spinal fusion surgery can provide significant long-term relief for patients, those who undergo it should be aware of what the recovery process may entail.
The goal of spinal fusion surgery is to alleviate chronic neck or back pain. However, in the days and weeks ensuing the procedure, patients may experience some discomfort, a common side effect of any surgical procedure. However, physicians have at their disposal a wide range of pain relief options. Some patients cope well with oral medications, while others may require occasional injections at the surgical site to ease the pain. Depending on the severity of the discomfort, some spinal fusion surgery recipients may receive special equipment that can deliver pain-relieving medication as needed with a control device.
To be effective, spinal fusion surgery depends on the successful fusion of the treated vertebrae. However, bone fusion can take several weeks to months, which is why doctors may strongly urge their patients to limit their activities while their bodies heal. Only with time can the vertebrae become strong enough to withstand normal bodily demands once again.
As the bones get stronger, doctors may recommend that their spinal fusion surgery patients undergo rehabilitation to help the process along. Physical therapy in particular can be highly effective in helping individuals regain their strength in a safe and controlled environment. Trained physical therapists understand the limitations that their patients have. While undergoing rehabilitation, spinal fusion surgery recipients can rest assured that their physical therapists will help them on their road to recovery without pushing them to do too much too soon.
Is spinal fusion surgery the right treatment option for you? To learn more about this procedure, call The Spine Institute of Nevada at 702-239-3787. We offer both surgical and non-surgical treatment services for those living in Las Vegas and the surrounding communities.