Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

What is Spinal Fusion Surgery ?

The surgical procedure of spinal fusion (back fusion surgery) is performed to join one or more bony vertebrae of the spine permanently. This highly advanced procedure (disc fusion surgery) is an option for disability and pain in the spine which has been caused by some lesion and was not able to improve by other non surgical options such as medications or physiotherapy. Diseases, natural aging process and injuries are some of the causes for an unstable spine. These changes consents the abnormal movement of vertebrae and in turn the vertebrae starts to rub against each other. This can lead to either arm, back or leg pain. By fusing the vertebrae, it aligns and stabilizes the spine thereby maintaining the disc space in between the vertebrae. It saves from further damage of spinal cord and nerves.

When is Fusion Recommended

  • Fracture
  • Tumor
  • Infection
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal Stenosis

Types of Spinal Fusion Surgery

Lumbar spinal fusion can be divided into two categories-

Posterolateral Fusion : In the back of the spine, the bone graft is placed in amid the transverse processes. With the help of wires and screws, the vertebrae is carefully fixed throughout the particles of every vertebrae. A rod is made up of metal which is attached on the side of vertebrae.

Interbody Fusion : In this, the graft of the bone is placed in between the vertebrae and the area is generally engaged by the intervertebral disc. The disc is entirely removed in preparing for the spinal fusion. In order to maintain the disc height and spine alignment, a device can be placed in between the vertebrae. This device (intervertebral device) can either be prepared from titanium or plastic. Then the fusion starts in between the vertebrae's endplates. Interbody fusion is of 3 types-

  • Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
  • Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
  • Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF)
  • Transpsoas Interbody Fusion (XLIF or DLIF)

Spinal Fusion Surgery Benefits

This procedure can remove the pain as well as other symptoms. The advantages include-

  • There are less chances of going through a surgery again when the level has been fused. In many cases, the facets or discs are pain producer and a fusion will make sure that the motion at the level is stopped by removing the lower back pain.
  • The surgery drastically reduces the post-decompressive deformity. It has been seen that most patients have developed post-laminectomy kyphosis (abnormal alignment of the spine).
  • Before the surgery, fusion can also correct the deformities of the patients so as to make sure the proper alignment of the spine is done.

Cervical Spine Surgery

This procedure focuses on relieving tingling, pain, weakness and numbness that are connected to the cervical spine. The surgery also aims at restoring the level of nerve function and also correcting the abnormalities associated with the function of the spine. It becomes essential when a deformity or a degenerative disease occurs. The surgeon uses two types of techniques- stabilization and decompression. The types of cervical procedures-

  • Discectomy : It removes a part or the entire herniated disc
  • Laminoplasty : It reconstructs the lamina in order to create more space for the spinal cord
  • Foraminotomy : It creates a big space in the vertebrae
  • Corpectomy : In this, the whole vertebral body is removed to gain a complete access to the disc
  • Facetectomy : It removes the joint of the facet to relieve the pressure on a nerve
  • Laminoplasty : It constructs Lamina again to make more space for the spinal cord

Spinal Laser Surgery

Spinal laser surgery aims at correcting the abnormalities and injuries present in the spine. The different treatment options available for spinal laser surgery are-

  • Spinal Fusion
  • Laminectomy :
  • Microdisecectomy

Artificial Disc Replacement Surgery

With the help of this surgery, persistent lumbar (low-back) pain can be effectively reduced. It is one of the newest procedures is considered as the other option (alternative) to spinal fusion surgery. The procedure of artificial disc replacement surgery is like knee or hip joint replacement. During the surgery, the degenerated and worn disc is replaced by a mechanical device in order to restore the motion again. Artificial disc is carefully used in spine surgery and is made up of plastic and 2 metallic end plates. The artificial disc is specially designed in such way so as to maintain the natural flexibility of the spine.

Scoliosis and Kyphosis Surgery

Spinal deformity is the condition in which there is a loss of spine's alignment. The two types of deformities are Scoliosis and Kyphosis. Kyphosis is the result of the spine's abnormal forward bending. While Scoliosis is the result of spine's sideward bending. Most of the causes are not known in adolescents. Vertebral anomalies are the causes of spinal deformity that can occur due to some disease such as cerebral palsy, polio, marfans syndrome and neurofibromatosis. Vertebral anomalies can also happen by birth.

Treatment for Scoliosis and Kyphosis

  • Brace : It is suggested in the growth stages of adolescents and children
  • Surgery : It is done when a curve happens and the surgery can also be done to correct some cosmetic deformity.
  • Observation : To observe the progression, serial radiographs x-ray are done.

Spinal Stenosis Surgery

The procedure of Lumbar Spinal Stenosis is performed when the nerves (at lumbar vertebrae level) and the spinal cord compresses and also when the spinal canal narrow down. This condition can be the result of osteoporosis, tumor and herniation. Whereas Spinal stenosis have an effect on the thoracic region or on cervical. Abnormal sensations in the feet, legs, bowel control, buttocks or thighs and pain in the lower back are the results of Lumbar spinal stenosis.

Cost of Spinal Fusion Surgery

The cost of this surgery is very affordable in India as compared to other parts of the world. India is known all over the world for its medical facilities and services.
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