Also known as anterior/posterior lumbar fusion, this procedure is one of the more common approaches for fusing the lumbar to prevent abnormal motion in a section of the spine that is causing chronic pain. Typically, this procedure will require incisions in the posterior lower back region and an incision in the anterior abdominal area.
By utilizing a 360° method, muscle trauma is minimalized compared to other fusion methods, although it is usually more invasive and carries greater risks.
Surgeons will install a medical device called an interbody cage between the two vertebrae needing fusion. It will be filled with a material made up of synthetic bone graft, and then a minimally invasive incision in your lower back will be made for screws to be placed to stabilize your spine. This method of fusion has some of the highest rates of success in this area of medicine.
The type of bone cage your surgeon uses will offer its own unique benefits and drawbacks:
The duration of your surgery depends upon the number of vertebrae that require fusing. Once out of the operating room and awake in recovery, you should be later transferred to a hospital room for a short 1–2 day stay. Pain medication is usually administered via IV and later by mouth.
At your first doctor’s visit after surgery, you can expect your tending physician to begin your physical therapy. When you can expect to return to work will rely on your overall health, the extent of your surgery, and what job duties you normally perform. Overall, the entire process of healing may take several months as your fused vertebrae and surrounding muscles regain flexibility and strength.
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By fusing both the anterior and posterior of the weakened vertebra, your surgeon can provide your spine with a higher degree of stability across a larger surface area of the bone. Additionally, lower back deformity from conditions like isthmic spondylolisthesis might be significantly reduced. It is also possible that the stabilization achieved by this dual approach to fusion surgery will allow you to become mobile more quickly after the procedure.
With minimal incisions needed, patients undergoing this surgery can also enjoy some of the below benefits:
Due to the minimally invasive nature of this fusion surgery, patients typically enjoy a quicker recovery period. Hospital stays are generally shorter, only taking a few days for observation and instruction on post-surgical care. Because incisions are not overly large, the risk of infection and pain require fewer antibiotics and pain medications after surgery, with the healing time also being lessened.
Traditional spinal fusion surgeries often leave patients with significant scarring of the skin and muscle. An anterior/posterior procedure focuses on minimizing factors like blood loss and aftercare so that the body experiences less trauma, allowing a patient to pursue a robust recovery program with minimal downtime.
Recurrence of symptoms after undergoing surgery to alleviate them is a disheartening experience no patient should have to endure. The high success rate of a 360° procedure makes it a superior choice compared to other spinal fusion options.
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If you are suffering from chronic lower lumbar pain and radiculopathy throughout your buttocks and thighs, you may be a good candidate for this treatment option. Normally, you should try other conservative treatment methods first before pursuing a surgical solution. Consider speaking with your tending physician if you are not receiving reasonable pain relief from anti-inflammatory medications or physical therapy.
Anterior/posterior lumbar fusion might be appropriate for your back pain if you suffer from any of the below conditions:
To assess your condition and whether 360° Anterior and Posterior Lumbar Fusion is appropriate for you, your doctor may require you to undergo diagnostic procedures like an MRI, CT scan, or X-rays to determine the extent of your spine issue.
If you are not finding success in alleviating your lower lumbar pain and traditional methods are not able to bring you a reasonable level of relief, it may be time to consider this minimally invasive surgical treatment. NJ Spine & Orthopedic has board-certified surgeons and medical experts trained in this procedure who use the latest treatment techniques to achieve quality care, faster recovery times, and a pain-free life for all our patients.
If you have questions about this procedure and wonder if it may be a possible option for your spinal condition, contact our office today online or call (866) 272-9271. You can also use our free Treatment Finder tool. We are here to help you get your life back and get you on the road to healing quickly and safely.
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