If you’re one of the many citizens of this planet that’s suffering from a herniated disc in your lower back, then you’ve probably heard the following words thrown around: lumbar spinal fusion. NJ spine spine specialists are proficient in this procedure and it’s one that can alleviate the pain you’re suffering due to your herniated disc.
So why does it have to sound so futuristic? What’s getting “fused” together? Great question. The future-sounding-ness of the procedure is just a free bonus. But things surely are getting fused together – your vertebrae.
When you suffer from a herniated disc, the damaged disc no longer cushions the adjacent vertebrae from the force put on your spine due to your daily activities. Not only that, but the damaged disc, bulging out of it’s place in between your vertebrae can be pinching nearby nerves, causing you even more pain.
Some or all of the damaged intervertebral disc needs to be removed and replaced with a bone graft. After this is done, it needs to be held in place between the adjacent vertebrae and do the job that the disc used to do.
To keep it in place, titanium rods and screws are used to “fuse” your two vertebrae together in their natural position. By fusing the two vertebrae together, the motion in your lumbar spine that was causing your pain will no longer occur.
The best part of NJ lumbar spinal fusion is that a minimally invasive procedure has been developed for it. Doctors can now perform the procedure without making a huge incision along your back. They can make a tiny incision and use advanced tools to directly extract the damaged disc and place the bone graft. All hail modern technology.
After the procedure, any pinched nerves will need some time to heal and for their inflammation to reduce. Within 4 to 6 weeks after the procedure, you should notice some relief from your pain. Several months after the procedure, the bone graft and your vertebrae will have completely fused. Your symptoms may continue to disappear gradually or may have disappeared completely at this point.
As part of your recovery, your doctor will likely recommend you wear a back brace to keep that part of your spine as immobile as possible while your bones fuse. He may also recommend you visit a physical therapist – but that depends on your unique situation. The physical therapist would be able to strengthen your back muscles and teach you exercises to do the same at home, helping both your recovery now and the long term strength of your back.
After your bones have fused, feel free to call yourself a cyborg if you’d like- half man, half machine – and all that cool stuff. After all the stress you’ll have went through before, after, and during the procedure, you’ll deserve at least that perk. Maybe it does have a futuristic name for a reason.