Spinal Fusion Surgery Specialist

Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports

Spine Surgeons & Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Orthopaedic Spine Surgeons located in Austin, TX

When you have chronic back pain or your spine is unstable due to a degenerative condition or injury, you may need spinal fusion surgery to get relief from the pain. At Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports in Austin, Texas, you receive exceptional surgical care from Scott Spann, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained spine surgeon. He has extensive experience performing minimally invasive spine fusion surgery that shortens your post-op pain and your recovery time. To learn if spinal fusion might be an option for your back pain, call the office or book an appointment online.

Spinal Fusion Surgery Q & A

What is a spinal fusion?

A spinal fusion is a procedure to connect two or more adjoining vertebrae using a bone graft. The graft stimulates the two vertebrae to grow bone that fuses them together into one bone.

Spinal fusions restrict movement between the two vertebrae. As a result, you regain spinal stability and your pain improves.

When might I need a spinal fusion?

Dr. Spann may recommend a spinal fusion to treat a fractured vertebra or an osteoporotic compression fracture. Spinal fusions are often used in the treatment of deformities such as scoliosis and kyphosis. You may also need a spinal fusion after you have surgery to decompress nerves or remove a herniated disc.

Spinal conditions that often need treatment with a spinal fusion include:

  • Facet joint arthritis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Herniated disc
  • Slipped disc
  • Degenerative disc disease

Dr. Spann can also restore stability with a fusion when your spine is weakened by a tumor or infection.

How is a spinal fusion performed?

When performing a spinal fusion, Dr. Spann removes the damaged disc and places a spacer, or bioplastic cage, between the two vertebrae. He uses the cage to restore the normal space between the bones and decompress pinched nerves. Then the spacer is filled with the bone graft material.

After inserting metal plates or screws and rods to stabilize the bones while they fuse, Dr. Spann closes your incision, and your spinal fusion surgery is finished.

Will I have minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery?

Dr. Spann has extensive experience performing minimally invasive spinal fusion surgeries. During a minimally invasive procedure, he makes very small incisions that cause significantly less trauma than the long incision used during open surgery. As a result, you experience less bleeding and have less post-op pain.

Another benefit of minimally invasive spine surgery is that Dr. Spann can use a tubular retractor to gently separate the muscle fibers instead of cutting them. After your surgery, the muscles simply return to their original position without the extended recovery that’s required when they’re cut.

Dr. Spann also uses the tubular retractor during your surgery. He removes the disc and inserts the devices needed to fuse the disc through the retractor.

If you suffer from back pain, call Westlake Orthopaedics Spine & Sports or book an appointment online to learn if a spinal fusion may relieve your pain.