This procedure is performed on patients with instability between the vertebrae. This will have been discussed by Dr. Irby with you in the office prior to your surgery.
The bone used for the fusion may come from your pelvis, your back, or artificial bone supplement. The bone is prepared and placed between the vertebrae to be fused. This helps direct new bone growth and prevents motion between those vertebrae. Lumbar fusion patients wear a brace for three months after surgery to help allow the vertebrae and bone graft to grow together. You will follow up in the office for serial x-rays to determine the fusion status. Sometimes Dr. Irby may have to supplement your fusion with internal fixation (rods and screws).