What is spinal fusion?

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Serious injuries after a car accident can debilitate you. The force of a car accident can result in internal injuries, head injuries and broken bones. Of the injuries to your bones, spinal injuries can be among the most painful and debilitating. When suffering from a spinal fracture, there is a chance you may need to undergo spinal fusion. Mayo Clinic explains spinal fusion as a surgery that connects two or more vertebrae in the spine, to eliminate the motion. 

Spinal fusion mimics a bone’s healing process. To perform the surgery, a surgeon uses bone or a bone-like material to place between the spinal vertebrae. Surgeons may also use screws, metal plates or rods to hold the vertebrae in place while it heals. 

When you undergo spinal fusion, the surgeon will put you under general anesthesia. The specifics of the surgeon’s technique will depend on the location and severity of your spinal fracture. Most surgeries, however, begin with an incision to one of the following locations: 

  • Over your spine 
  • In your neck 
  • In your abdomen or throat 

The location depends on the vertebrae that the surgeon needs to fuse. The surgeon will also need to prepare you for your bone graft. Sometimes, you will receive a bone graft from the bone bank, but in other cases, the surgeon may take bone from your pelvis. The surgeon will place the bone graft material between your vertebrae and if necessary will use screws, rods or metal plates to hold the bone together. In some instances, the surgeon may use a synthetic substance instead of bone. This substance can help promote bone growth and speed up your recovery process.