Spinal fusion is a surgical operation that permanently joins two or more vertebrae into one strong bone with no gap between them. Vertebrae are the spine’s thin, interlocking bones.
Extra bone is used to fill the gap that normally occurs between the two different vertebrae in spinal fusion. There is no longer any gap between them as the bone heals.
In this article, Dr Gurneet Sawhney who is one of the best spine surgeons in Mumbai will discuss everything that you should know if you are opting for Spinal fusion surgery in Mumbai, India.
Getting ready for a spinal fusion
In most cases, spinal fusion planning is similar to that of most surgical procedures. It necessitates laboratory testing prior to surgery.
If you have any of the following conditions, you can inform your doctor before undergoing spinal fusion:
- Cigarette smoking, which may make it more difficult to recover from a spinal fusion.
- alcoholic beverages
- Any diseases you have, such as colds, the flu, or herpes
- Any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you’re taking, like herbs and supplements any prescription or over-the-counter medications you’re taking.
You should talk to your neurosurgeon about how to use your drugs before and after the operation. If you’re taking drugs that affect blood clotting, your doctor can give you special instructions. Anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as warfarin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are examples of these.
You must fast for at least eight hours before your operation because you will be given general anesthesia. Take any medications prescribed by your doctor with just a drink of water on the day of surgery.
What is the procedure for spinal fusion?
In Mumbai, Dr Gurneet Sawhney performs spinal fusion surgery in a hospital’s surgical department. Since it’s performed under general anesthesia, you won’t be aware of what’s going on or experience any discomfort.
You’ll be lying down with a blood pressure cuff on your arm and heart monitor leads on your chest during the operation. This helps the surgeon and anesthesia provider to keep an eye on your pulse and blood pressure when you’re under anesthesia. It’s possible that the whole process will take many hours.
The bone graft that will be used to fuse the two vertebrae will be prepared by your surgeon. If your own bone is being used, the surgeon will cut a small part of it above the pelvic bone and remove it. A synthetic bone graft or an allograft, which is a bone from a bone bank, may also be used as a bone graft.
Your surgeon will make an incision for the location of the bone depending on where it will be fused.
In order to expose the cervical spine during a cervical fusion, the surgeon will usually make a slight incision in the horizontal fold of your front neck. To connect the damaged vertebrae, a bone graft will be inserted between them. The graft material is often placed in special cages between the vertebrae. The graft may be placed over the back part of the spine in some cases.
Your surgeon can use plates, screws, and rods to prevent the spine from moving once the bone graft is in place. External fixation is the term for this. Plates, screws, and rods provide additional stability to the spine, allowing it to recover more quickly and successfully.
Recovery from spinal fusion surgery
You’ll need to stay in the hospital for a period of rehabilitation and observation after your spinal fusion. This lasts three to four days on average. Your doctor would want to monitor your reactions to the anesthesia and surgery at first. Your recovery time will be determined by your general health, your physician’s procedures, and your response to the procedure.
You’ll be given pain killers when you’re in the hospital. You’ll also be given guidance on how to maneuver in new ways if your versatility is minimal. To walk, sit, and stand safely, you may need to learn new techniques. You may also be unable to resume a regular solid food diet for a few days.
You may need to wear a brace after you leave the hospital to maintain your spine in good alignment. It’s possible that you won’t be able to resume your daily activities until the bone has fused into place.
Fusing can take anywhere from six weeks to a year. Physical therapy could be recommended by your doctor to help you strengthen your back and learn how to walk safely.
It will take three to six months to fully recover from a spinal fusion. How easily you recover and return to your normal activities is influenced by your age, overall health, and physical condition. It also depends upon the post-surgery care. If you are opting for surgery in Mumbai, best doctors will be available to ensure better care for faster recovery.
For such spinal injuries, spinal fusion is usually an effective procedure. It is possible that the healing process will take several months. If you gain strength and trust in your movements, your symptoms and level of comfort will increase. Although the operation does not eliminate all of your chronic back pain, it should help you feel better overall.
However, since the surgery alters the way the spine functions by immobilizing one segment, the areas above and below the fusion are more prone to wear and tear. If they deteriorate, they may become painful, and you may develop additional issues.
Being overweight, inactive, or in poor physical shape may all increase the chances of developing spinal problems. You’ll get the best results if you live a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet and daily exercise.