When spinal instability causes you pain, and no amount of chiropractic or medical help seems to work, it might be time to look into an instrumented lumbar fusion. Instrumented lumbar fusions use a type of instrument which is fused to the spine in order to help create stability, ease pain and help make your life easier. Instrumentations of the spine are used for severe problems and spinal compound fractures.
An instrumented lumbar fusion uses an instrument to fuse two or more of the vertebrae together in order to support the spine as a whole. This is different than a natural lumbar fusion, which involves a bone graft or other natural material. Some of the materials that can are used are titanium or titanium alloy.
Not all instrumented lumbar fusions are created equal. Some types of instruments that can be used include rods, hooks, plates, screws, cages and more. Two of the most popular types of instrumented lumbar fusions are pedicle screws and rods.
- Pedicle Screws: Pedicle screws grip onto a vertebral segment to limit its motion. Screws are placed on the outside of two or three of the vertebrae. Then, a metal rod is placed in between the screws, connecting them; these screws stay permanently in the body. Unless the screws are causing discomfort, it’s recommended to leave them in the spine even after bone has grown around it.
Stability and healing is what our patients need, but there are instances where one type of fusion is better than the other. During your consultation with a member of our medical team, we will go over all your instrumented lumbar fusion options and pick which is best for you. We make every effort to not use metal in the body if possible.
Making the decision to finally fix your troubled back is an important step to living a pain-free life, and instrumented lumbar fusions can go a long way to helping that become a reality. If you’re interested in learning more about what this procedure can do for you, contact a member of our medical team and schedule a consultation today!