The spinal column is made up of 24 vertebrae that are stacked upon each other, protecting the spinal cord. These vertebrae can through degenerative diseases, impact, lifting and twisting begin moving and causing pressure against the spinal nerves. This can be a source of pain for many people and of the ways to relieve this pain is to have a spinal fusion.
What Is Spinal Fusion Surgery?
The procedure of spinal fusion is the process of “welding” pieces of vertebrae together to stop movement that may be causing pain. It is often considered for several spinal issues including:
The pieces of vertebrae are fused together through the use of bone grafting. This can be bone from other areas of the patient’s body (usually the hip), from a cadaver or an artificial bone grafting material. To hold the bones together while they fuse, screws, plates and rods will often be used to hold the bone sin place. A back brace for the patient is usually used as well.
When is a Cervical or Lumbar Fusion Necessary For An Injury To The Back or Neck?
Many patients who have a spinal fusion surgery have had an injury to the vertebrae or discs in their back (lumbar) or neck (cervical). This can happen from repeated lifting and twisting, common in many jobs. It can also be due to a fall or impact injury where the jolt caused a herniated disc or fracture of the vertebrae such as the trauma related to a car or truck accident.
Patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery are often in pain from many types of everyday movements. Movement causes pressure against the spinal nerves and can be the source of disabling pain. The surgery is meant to stop this vertebrae movement and pressure, thus relieving the pain.
Recovery for Patients With Spinal Fusions
Patients who undergo spinal fusion surgery can expect several months of rehabilitation while the bones finish the process of fusing. Although the pain reduction is much quicker, the spinal region does need to be kept in alignment during the healing process. The patient’s doctor will instruct them on what movements should be avoided and how to best facilitate the healing process.
Some patients may need physical therapy to help promote healing and strengthen the muscles that support the spine. This could be for several weeks after surgery, using heat and massage to improve circulation and healing along with exercises.Attorneys For People Who Have Required A Back Surgery or Spinal Fusion Following An Illinois Personal Injury Accident
Any accident that involves trauma can quickly transform the life of a healthy person into a life filled with pain and disability. Like most surgical procedures, there is a very broad range in the recovery prospect for a person who requires a fusion surgery.
Particularly for people who have physically active jobs, a fusion may require the person to make changes in their job responsibilities or even a change in profession. As lawyers who represent people in all types of back and neck injury cases, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers are familiar with both the medical expenses related to back surgery as well as the injuries impact on the individuals earning capacity.
When a back injury sustained in an accident effects a persons job opportunities or employability, our attorneys may bring retain the services of a vocational counselor to help both our client find alternative suitable employment as well as assist in explaining to a jury how an injury impacts the person’s career. Using these opinions in conjunction with the services of an expert economist, we are able to maximize the recoverable damages for our clients.
If you have sustained a serious back injury in a motor vehicle accident, an accident on the job or in another context involving the fault of another, our attorneys may be able to assist you in recovering compensation for your injuries. As with all of our Chicago accident injury cases, we only charge a fee for our services when there is a recovery for you. Call us to discuss your legal options today. 888-424-5757
Resources related to spinal fusion prognosis, recovery and effectiveness:
Costs and effects in lumbar spinal fusion. A follow-up study in 136 consecutive patients with chronic low back pain Eur Spine J. 2007 May; 16(5): 657–668.