Disc fusion, or sometimes known as spinal fusion, is a surgical procedure designed to correct issues within the vertebrae. During the procedure, Dr. Subramanian performs what is basically welding. He fuses together two or more vertebrae so they heal into a single bone. This eliminates pain during movement and/or restores stability to the rest of the spine.
Dr. Subramanian only performs spinal surgery when the source of a patient’s pain can be directly pinpointed. He may use imaging tests, scans, or MRIs to do so.
Disc fusion may relieve some of the following back symptoms:
- Degenerative disk disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Fractured vertebra
- Herniated disk
Disc fusion eliminates motion between the vertebrae and prevents the stretching of surrounding nerves, ligaments, and muscles. Fusion takes away some flexibility, but most only involve small segments of the spine, and limit motion only slightly.
Disc Fusion Procedure
Depending on each patient’s anatomy and problem area, Dr. Subramanian may approach the surgery from a patient’s front, side, or back. Along with technological advancements, Dr. Subramanian has been able to use more minimally-invasive techniques, to reduce recovery time and size of the scar necessary for surgery.
Every patient’s spinal fuses use a bone graft to help promote fusion. This means small pieces of bone are inserted into the space between the vertebrae to help them fuse together. There are many different types of bone grafts. During a disc fusion, the graft Dr. Subramanian chooses for each patient depends on the parameters of each individual’s unique procedure.
Following surgery, Dr. Subramanian may require patients to wear a brace, to help support the new spinal structure. Additionally, he may use plates, screws, and/or rods to help hold the spine still while it heals. This allows patients to recover more quickly.
After disc fusion, patients usually feel some pain, for which Dr. Subramanian may prescribe medication. The full fusion process takes several months, but a patient’s comfort level improves more quickly. Dr. Subramanian and his team teach patients how to move properly to improve healing.