Complex spinal disorders include those that involve instability of the spine with or without compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots. This includes instability due to fractures, tumors, infection, scoliosis and spondylolisthesis. Patients often require surgical fusion of the spine for stabilization.
Spinal fusion is an operation that creates a solid union between two or more vertebrae. This procedure may assist in strengthening and stabilizing the spine and may thereby help to alleviate severe neck or back pain and prevent neurological injury.
Almost all of the surgical treatment options for fusing the spine involve placement of a bone graft between the vertebrae. Bone grafts may be taken from the hip or from another bone in the same patient (autograft) or from a bone bank (allograft). Bone graft extenders and bone morphogenetic proteins (hormones that cause bone to grow inside the body) can also be used to reduce or eliminate the need for bone grafts.
Fusion may or may not involve use of supplemental hardware (instrumentation) such as plates, screws, and cages. This fusing of the bone graft with the bones of the spine will provide a permanent union between those bones. Once that occurs, the hardware is no longer needed, but most patients prefer to leave the hardware in place rather than go through another surgery to remove it.
Fusion can often be performed via smaller incisions through minimally invasive surgical (MIS) techniques. The use of advanced fluoroscopy and endoscopy has improved the accuracy of incisions and hardware placement, minimizing tissue trauma while enabling an MIS approach. The doctors at the Neurosurgical Group of Texas are experts that specialize in these minimally invasive techniques.
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion Procedures
Minimally Invasive Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF)
Minimally Invasive Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF)
Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Vertebrectomy
Minimally Invasive Posterior Thoracic Fusion and/or Vertebral Replacement
Cervical Fusion Procedures
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
Posterior Cervical Fusion