When Is Lumbar Surgery Needed?

  • Chronic Lower Back Pain: If you are experiencing persistent lower back pain that does not respond to conservative treatments, lumbar surgery in Morristown may be necessary to address underlying issues.
  • Mobility Limitations: When mobility is significantly impaired due to lumbar spine issues, such as degenerative disc disease or spinal stenosis, surgery may be required to restore functionality and movement.
  • Structural Instability: Conditions like spondylolisthesis or severe disc herniation can cause instability in the lumbar spine, leading to pain and potential nerve compression. Lumbar surgery may be necessary to stabilize the affected vertebrae and alleviate symptoms.

What is Lumbar Spinal Fusion?

Lumbar spinal fusion is a surgical procedure wherein two or more vertebrae in the lumbar region (lower back) are fused together to restore optimal spinal mobility. If these vertebrae are damaged, fractured, or dislocated, you may experience severe pain in your lower back, buttocks, and lower extremities. Lumbar spinal fusion involves using numerous techniques to remove the damaged components of the lumbar spine and then fusing the vertebrae using bone grafts, titanium screws, and rods.

Why You Might Need Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery:

Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease is a condition wherein the cushion-like discs between the vertebrae (intervertebral discs) gradually lose their shape, size, and volume. The bone spurs from the damaged discs may pinch the surrounding nerve roots, leading to lumbar radiculopathy. This condition usually happens because of age-related wear and tear of the intervertebral discs. The surgeon may remove the damaged disc and fuse the adjacent vertebrae to restore stability.

Spinal Fractures

Spinal fractures can happen due to sudden injuries and traumas. The risk of spinal fractures increases as you grow older, especially if you have osteoporosis. If your bone density is already low, small falls can lead to spinal fractures. Lumbar spinal fusion can joint and repair the damaged vertebrae, thereby restoring complete range of motion. Surgery is especially important if your spinal fracture is also causing spinal nerve injuries.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a progressive condition wherein changes in the lower back lead to a narrowing of the spinal canal. This places an immense burden on the spinal cord and nerve roots, leading to chronic back pain and numbness. This is a fairly common condition that happens as people grow older, but some people may also have congenital spinal stenosis. Lumbar surgery in Morristown can reduce pressure on the nerve roots, thereby alleviating your symptoms.

model of a spine before lumbar fusion morristown

Your Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

Dr. Salari curates a personalized treatment plan for your lumbar spinal fusion surgery. The specific steps of the procedure differ from one patient to the next, but we can provide a general overview. Your spinal surgeon will make a small incision in your lower back — the specific location depends on the location of the damaged vertebrae. The surgeon may remove the muscles and tissues in the area to access the damaged vertebrae or discs.

After accessing the damaged vertebrae, the surgeon will customize the treatment according to your needs. He may perform a lumbar laminectomy to remove excess bone tissues or a lumbar discectomy to remove the damaged intervertebral discs responsible for chronic pain. After the damaged components are removed in your lumbar fusion in Morristown, the surgeon will place bone grafts to facilitate natural bone regeneration and use titanium screws and rods to join the vertebrae and restore optimal spinal stability.

Recovering from Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Dr. Salari generally performs minimally invasive lumbar spine surgeries that allow you to return home within a few days. You may need pain medications for the first few days to reduce the pain and discomfort. It may take several months for your vertebrae to grow and fuse together, but you can resume most of your daily activities within a week or two. Dr. Salari will provide a comprehensive set of aftercare guidelines to improve your recovery journey.

man needing lumbar surgery morristown

Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery FAQs

How long does it take to recover from lumbar surgery?

The healing period after lumbar surgery might be anywhere from a few weeks to 6 months.

What is the recovery time for lumbar surgery?

Typically, lumbar surgery requires a few weeks to a few months of recovery and care.

Is lumbar spine surgery painful?

During the recovery phase after lumbar spine surgery, there may be some discomfort and pain, although pain management strategies are used to reduce your discomfort during this time.

What is the success rate of lumbar spine surgery?

Depending on the exact technique and the patient’s condition, different lumbar spine surgeries have different success rates. For the majority of patients, it is generally thought to be effective in symptom relief and quality of life improvement.

How many hours is lumbar surgery?

The intricacy of the process and certain elements affect how long lumbar surgery takes. It normally lasts between 2 to 4 hours.

Can I lay on my back after lumbar surgery?

Patients are often instructed to avoid lying flat on their backs for a particular amount of time after lumbar surgery. Your medical expert will provide you with specific advice regarding post-surgical positioning.

What are the restrictions after lumbar surgery?

Heavy lifting, bending, twisting, and demanding activity could be prohibited for a few weeks to several months following lumbar surgery for optimal recovery.

Why Choose Dr. Salari for Lumbar Spinal Fusion Surgery

Dr. Behnam Salari is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive spine surgery techniques. He administers advanced diagnostic tests, such as CT scans and MRIs to identify and treat the root cause of your problems. His treatments usually start with non-surgical solutions, such as physical therapy and lifestyle changes. But if the conservative treatments don’t work, he performs minimally invasive spine surgeries, such as lumbar spinal fusion.

For more information about lumbar surgery in Morristown, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Salari at our state-of-the-art offices in Morristown, Hackettstown, Sparta, or Randolph in New Jersey.

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