A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that involves creating a bone graft between two vertebrae (spinal bones) to fuse them together. This stabilizes the spine and prevents pain caused by movement between bones.
Tampa General Hospital’s Neuroscience Institute offers a minimally invasive approach to spinal fusion surgery that incorporates advanced robotic technologies and spinal navigation systems to achieve optimal outcomes for patients. We’re a regional leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, and no hospital in Florida performs more complex spinal procedures than TGH.
What Does Spinal Fusion Treat?
Spinal fusion surgery can be used to treat a variety of degenerative spine diseases, disorders and injuries, such as:
- Degenerative disc disease – A flattened and worn spinal disc that leads to pain
- Spondylolisthesis – A vertebra that “slips” out of place onto the bone below it
- Fractured vertebrae – A broken spinal bone
- Scoliosis – A curvature of the spine due to instability
- Traumatic spine injuries – Damage to the spine injury from an injury
How is Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion Performed?
A spinal fusion is most often performed in the lower back (lumbar spine), where the spine endures the most pressure. The patient is placed under general anesthesia before surgery to prevent discomfort. The minimally invasive approach to this procedure involves:
- Making a small incision on the patient’s side or back to reach the spine
- Using special instruments to remove the spinal disc in between the affected vertebrae
- Replacing the spinal disc with grafted bone or synthetic material
- Securing the bones in place with surgical screws
What Can I Expect Following Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion?
Many people who undergo minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery are encouraged to walk the following day. Most patients stay in the hospital for one to three days after the procedure for monitoring. Pain medications and back bracing can help ease pain following surgery, and many regular activities can be resumed within one or two months. There will be a slight reduction in spinal range of motion after surgery, but this is usually very minor.
The spine surgeons at TGH’s Neuroscience Institute are highly skilled in the most advanced surgical methods, including robotic techniques that help provide outstanding results and streamlined recovery periods for patients with neck or back pain. Thanks in part to our advanced approach to spinal fusion and other minimally invasive spine procedures, U.S. News & World Report ranks TGH in the top 10% of hospitals for Neurology and Neurosurgery for 2023-24.
Call (800) 822-3627 to schedule an appointment at Tampa General Hospital and learn if minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery is right for you.