Spinal fusion permanently joins two or more vertebrae using bone grafts.
There are different types of bone grafts:
- Autograft – a patient's own bone
- Allograft – a donor bone
Spinal fusion with instrumentation can correct spinal deformity, treat fracture or spondylolisthesis or stabilize the spine after discectomy.
Spinal Fusion Procedure
Your doctor packs bone grafts between spaces where it will grow and heal. Instrumentation includes implants such as rods, plates, screws, interbody devices, cages and hooks.
Implanted instrumentation immediately stabilizes the spine after surgery to add strength and help maintain proper alignment while fusion occurs.
Depending on the type of fusion and instrumentation, you may need to wear a brace after surgery for added support during healing.
Common surgical procedures that involve spinal fusion and instrumentation include:
- Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF)
- Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)
- Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF)
- Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF)
- Direct lateral interbody fusion (DLIF)
You must quit smoking for fusion to be successful.