Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spine Fusion

Why you may need lumbar spine fusion surgery

A minimally invasive lumbar spine fusion can be recommended for you after one or two of the lower back disk complexes degenerate and destabilize. Disk complexes, located between the vertebrae, are composed of tissue that give a person the ability to tilt, bend, and rotate as they wish. When those complexes are unable to perform, a range of simple every day tasks become very difficult. A minimally invasive lumbar fusion provides for the ability to treat the failed disk complex with minimal tissue disruption and a relatively swift recovery.

What causes disk complexes to fail?

To maintain flexibility, the disk complexes work with the facet joints (located on the sides of the vertebrae), ligaments, and muscles to provide the correct amount of movement. If these parts begin to fall out of place and no longer function collaboratively, the excessive fragmented movement can create a loss of spine stability, abnormal posture, or lower back and leg impairments. This technique allows the surgeon to approach the failed complexes from a variety of angles, simultaneously monitor the spinal nerve function, and restore the spine to its maximum health.

What happens during a minimally invasive lumbar spine fusion?

After making a small skin incision over the spine, magnifying loupes or an operation microscope guide the surgeon through the spinal canal, providing a clear view of the impaired disk tissue, ligaments, and facet joints. Disk replacement devices that are filled bone graft material taken from the patient’s bone during surgery, from donor bone material, with bone growth medicines, will be inserted to replace the failed disks. Once the spacers are positioned, the surgeon can establish proper alignment of the spine, and prepare the vertebrae for fusion.

Using a fluoroscopy x-ray, computer navigation, or real time direct vision, the surgeon will further stabilize the spine by inserting screws to join one vertebra with another, and rods along the connected vertebrae to maintain the alignment. Doing so will prevent excessive motion between the vertebrae, eliminating the source