When problems with your spine cause you to suffer from chronic back pain or chronic leg pain symptoms, you may be able to find lasting relief with a surgical procedure known as spinal fusion.
“Spinal fusion” sounds like a procedure that could limit your range of motion, freezing you into one position. But spinal fusion typically only reduces your spinal flexibility a little, affecting only a small portion of your spine, while still delivering long-term pain relief.
At South Texas Spinal Clinic, our team of expert orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists perform spinal fusion treatment from offices in San Antonio and South Texas. With the right care, your spinal fusion procedure won’t significantly limit your mobility. Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding spinal fusion
Your spine is made up of 33 small bones called vertebrae. Many back pain issues arise from problems with these vertebrae, or the cushioning discs in between them that maintain your spinal flexibility and range of motion.
If you have chronic or progressive conditions like degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine), or scoliosis, or if you suffer a spinal fracture or infection, you could experience persistent back pain as a result of vertebrae grinding together or pressing on nerves.
Spinal fusion surgically joins two or more of your vertebrae, eliminating these causes of back pain and leg pain. In this surgical procedure, your provider at South Texas Spinal Clinic removes damaged discs from between your vertebrae and places a bone graft in the space your disc once filled.
Bone grafts kickstart your natural healing capabilities and increase new bone growth. Your vertebrae will fuse into a single bone. We may also support the treated section of your spine with a large piece of bone, rods, plates, wires, and screws.
Does spinal fusion reduce flexibility?
It’s natural to have concerns about spinal fusion and range of motion. The amount of flexibility lost after a spinal fusion procedure varies from patient to patient.
Because most spinal fusions only involve two vertebrae, the loss of flexibility after recovery is typically minimal. Your spine does become less bendable in a particular location, but once you recover, your spinal fusion shouldn’t overly limit your range of motion or impede your ability to get and stay active.
Making sure to keep your spine aligned during the healing process improves your outcomes for the future.
To learn more about how spinal fusion can relieve your back pain without overly compromising your range of motion, get in touch with the South Texas Spinal Clinic team today. Schedule your initial consultation appointment over the phone or book online now.