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Spinal Fusion Specialist

Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC

Interventional Pain Center located in Warren, MI

If you suffer from back or neck pain, spinal fusion is a surgical procedure to stabilize your spine and relieve pain. At Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC, board-certified surgeon Martin Quiroga, DO, and the experienced team offer spinal fusion using the latest advanced techniques, including a cutting-edge sacroiliac fusion procedure. Call the Warren, Michigan, office to book your consultation.

Spinal Fusion Q & A

What is spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion is a surgery to fuse two of your spinal bones (vertebrae) together. Welding the two bones together increases spinal stability. Most spinal fusion procedures occur in the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back). 

Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC, also offers a unique cutting-edge type of fusion: sacroiliac joint fusion. 

How does spinal fusion work?

Your spinal fusion incisions may be in the front (anterior), back (posterior), or side (lateral). For traditional open surgery, you have one long incision, and for minimally invasive spine surgery, you have a few smaller incisions.

In a spinal fusion, new bone (a bone graft) helps to stabilize the vertebrae and encourages them to grow together. The bone graft may come from your body or a donor. Or, in some cases, synthetic materials are ideal for bone grafts.  

Internal fixation, like screws, rods, and plates, can improve the healing rate after surgery because they keep the spine stable as the grafts fuse the vertebrae.

Sacroiliac fusion requires one buttock-area incision. It uses several metal implants to connect the two sacroiliac joints at the base of your spine.

If you also have radiating pain that moves from your neck or back into your arm or leg, you may need an additional procedure, laminectomy, during spinal fusion. The procedure reduces spine pressure by removing excess bone or tissue.

The experienced surgeons at Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC, use minimally invasive spine surgery techniques with small incisions whenever possible for spinal fusion. They always use fluoroscopy, a live X-ray, to guide the ideal placement of grafts and hardware during the procedure. 

When might I need spinal fusion?

Chronic back or neck pain is the most common reason for spinal fusion. If you've done physical therapy and other nonoperative treatments but still have debilitating pain, spinal fusion might be right for you. Some of the most common specific problems that may improve after spinal fusion are:

  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Herniated disc
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Scoliosis and other spinal deformities
  • Vertebral fractures
  • Chronic spinal instability

Spinal fusion isn't right for everyone. If your main problem is back or neck pain but you don't have any spinal instability, Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC, may recommend other options tailored to your condition.  

Can I still move normally after spinal fusion?

Although spinal fusion does slightly reduce spinal flexibility, it rarely causes any dramatic changes because it affects just one small part of your spine. Most people don't even notice a change in their range of motion. 

Spinal fusion can be a life-changing surgery for people who have chronic spinal instability and pain. Learn more by calling Michigan Advanced Surgical Center, PLLC.