Herniated Disc Fusion
Herniated Disc Fusion
A herniated disc fusion is one of the procedures used by doctors to repair the spine following the removal of a herniated vertebra or to reinforce a weakened spinal column. In many cases, doctors may opt to not pursue the fusion, instead relying on the normal healing attributes of the human body to facilitate recovery. However, in very serious cases where the rigidity and mechanical integrity of the spine is in question, doctors will typically go for fusion techniques to be able to reinforce the spinal column and prevent the occurrence of more injuries.
In many cases, a herniated disc fusion procedure begins when doctors finish removing the misaligned vertebral disc from the spine. From here, doctors will need to assess the best way to facilitate recovery. If a spinal fusion is decided as the best outcome, doctors will begin prepping the location of the missing vertebral disc by cleaning it to eliminate potential contaminants. Once cleaned, the fusion process can begin.
Doctors use a cement-like material when fusing vertebra together. This acts as a binding agent connecting two vertebral discs that were once separated by a third disc sandwiched between them. The now gaping space between the two discs will often increase the risk for mechanical instability in the spine necessitating the fusion. The cement-like material fuses the two discs to form one rigid structure that can help support the spine at the section where the disc was removed.
Recovering from a herniated disc fusion process often takes many months because of the slightly altered makeup of the patient’s body. Firstly, strength will need to be gradually returned in order to support one’s weight and posture at standing position. The fusion will also require therapy in the form of regaining leg and arm movements which may be compromised by intruding into the nerve system in the spine. Therapy requires weeks of repetitively routine motions in order to acclimatize the arm and legs to the rigors of everyday work.
Moreover, the ultimate determinant of the success of a herniated disc fusion lies in the ability of the bone to retain mechanical stability equal to that before the surgery. This is important if one is to resume doing normal activities post-surgery. Even when the wound has fully healed, this does not mean that typical work can be done again. Only after repetitive tests for bone strength and mobility will doctors give someone the green light for resuming all types of activities such as sports.
Still, having a herniated disc fusion is no cause for immediate worry. There are many documented cases of sports superstars who underwent spinal fusion surgeries and were able to successfully return to playing professionally. This underscores the maturity of the science behind the procedure and is a clear indication that many doctors are well-trained enough to give full recovery after the procedure is done.
Likewise, it should be noted that a herniated disc fusion now paves the way for complete recovery without a potential reduction in the range of activities that one can do. It is certainly a boon for herniated disc patients, and a great way to relieve back pain problems without losing mobility or strength. For the many that have tried it, the feedback has been great and as the science continues to grow, we can only expect better results out of it.
There are a number of other herniated disc back surgeries that may be used instead of a herniated disc fusion. The type of herniated disc back surgery will depend on the type of disc problem and the area of expertise of the surgeon.