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Spinal Fusion

Doctor looking at xray spine model

What does spinal fusion surgery look like?

Spinal fusion surgery attaches two or more vertebrae in your spine permanently to improve stability of the spine, correct a deformity, or reduce pain.

Spinal fusion involves several techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones. During spinal fusion, your surgeon will place bone or a bonelike material within the space between two spinal vertebrae. Metal plates, screws, and rods may be used to hold the vertebrae together, so they can heal into one solid spinal component. It’s helpful to think of this surgery as a form of medical “welding” of bones.

This surgery can be performed on any part of the spine, including cervical (in the neck) or lumbar (in the back). Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion to treat conditions such as spinal weakness or instability, spinal deformities, or a herniated disc.

In many spinal surgeries, two or more vertebral bones are permanently joined with a technique called "spinal fusion." A fusion creates a solid mass of bone. It stabilizes your spine.


You may need to stay in the hospital for a few days following spinal fusion surgery. Depending on the location and extent of the surgery, you may experience some pain and discomfort, but these can usually be well-controlled with the medications your physician will prescribe.

After you go home, it’s important to contact your doctor if you exhibit any of the following symptoms as they could be signs of infection:

  • Redness, tenderness or swelling
  • Wound drainage
  • Shaking chills
  • High fever

It may take several months for the bones in your spine to heal and fuse properly. Your doctor may recommend that you wear a brace to keep your spine correctly aligned. Physical therapy can teach you how to move, sit, stand, and walk in a manner that keeps your spine properly aligned and helps with recovery.


Any surgical procedures have certain risks, and spinal fusion is no exception. Spinal fusion is generally a safe procedure, but it’s essential to be familiar with complications that may arise due to surgery. Potential complications include:

  • Poor wound healing
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Injury to spinal nerves or blood vessels
  • Pain at the incision site or where grafts are taken
  • Infection

If you want to learn more about Spinal Fusion or would like to schedule a consultation, request an appointment with one of our world-class physicians at NewSouth NeuroSpine today.

Doctors Specializing in Spinal Fusion

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