Return to Spinal Disorders


There are certain back pain conditions that will respond to removal and fusion of the lumbar disc. Fusion means that bone or a bone like substance will replace the disc that is no longer functioning and generating back pain.

Spinal fusion will generally involve

  1. Disc removal
  2. Placement of a bone graft in the disc space to create new foundation for the vertebral bodies
  3. Placement of spinal hardware (Screws and plates) to hold things together while the fusion is healing.

Conditions for which spinal fusions can be applied include spondylolisthesis, degenerative disc disease/ back pain, and trauma. Who is actually a candidate for spinal fusion is a complex decision based on many factors. In general, a fusion will only be recommended when all other means on non-surgical management have been attempted or when there is compression of the nerves in the spine causing weakness/numbness/difficulty

Images of a Spinal Fusion

These are 3-D reconstructions of the lumbar spine showing a L4-5 fusion done with pedicle screws and an interbody graft placed in the L4-5 disc space to replace the degenerated disc that was causing the patient pain.

This is a post operative CAT scan of the lumbar spine showing a L4-5 fusion done anteriorly with a titanium plate/screw construct and an interbody graft placed in the L4-5 disc space to replace the degenerated disc that was causing the patient pain.