What's Involved with Spinal Fusion Surgery?

If you have had issues with your spine, you may have been told that surgery is an option, with fusion a commonplace procedure to help a variety of conditions. Yet how extensive is this type of operation, and can it be performed using minimally invasive techniques these days?

Surgical Options

Spinal fusion is a major surgical procedure that aims to join two or more vertebrae to each other. The objective is to create a single, sturdier bone that provides more stability and gives the patient a better quality of life.

Spinal fusion may be recommended for those who have fractured their vertebrae or may have herniated or otherwise suffered significant damage to a disc. It can also be used to treat certain spine deformities like scoliosis.

The Approach

Much will depend on the nature of the planned surgery and whether a minimally invasive option is possible. With this type of approach, the incisions tend to be much smaller, and the objective is to keep peripheral damage to any surrounding soft tissue to a minimum. Patients normally report quicker recovery time and reduced post-operative pain.


In every case, a surgeon will have options when it comes to accessing the problem area. They may be able to make an incision directly over the spine or enter through an incision on the side of the body or abdomen.


Bone grafts are used to set up the procedure, and these are typically harvested from donors or made from synthetic materials that have been proven to fuse bones together effectively. The surgeon may use various tools to help stabilise the spine, including rods, screws or metal plates as these help create a more solid fusion and markedly increase the success rate overall.


If the surgery is performed with minimally invasive techniques, the patient will typically be discharged more quickly. Otherwise, they may need to spend some time recovering in the hospital before they will be allowed to go back to their homes.

Success Rates

Spinal fusion surgery can be very effective and is typically successful. The degree of success will, of course, depend on the individual patient and the nature of their problem, and the surgeon will be able to advise accordingly before scheduling the procedure.

Experienced Surgeon

If you decide to go ahead with spinal fusion surgery, always ensure that you talk with a certified and experienced surgeon. They'll outline all the options and tell you the best approach in your case. Look into spine surgery near you.