Spinal Fusion Surgery
Spinal fusion is surgery to join two or more bones (vertebrae) in the lumbar, cervical, or thoracic spine. A fusion joins the bones permanently, so there is no more movement between them. Spinal fusion is usually done at the same time as other surgery to make the spine more stable.
In a spinal fusion, your doctor places extra bone (bone graft) in the space between two spinal vertebrae. The bone may already be molded to fit the space, or it may be in a plastic, carbon fiber or metal cage. Your spine surgeon uses small metal plates, screws or rods to hold the vertebrae and graft together. This helps the bones heal after they are joined. Once the bone graft heals, the vertebrae are permanently connected.
Your doctor may recommend spinal fusion surgery if you have:
- Broken vertebra (spinal bone)
- Spinal deformity
- Spinal weakness
- Unstable spine
- Chronic (long lasting) low back pain
Spinal fusion can relieve some or all of your symptoms. But you can still have spine problems after spinal fusion surgery. Once lumbar, cervical, or thoracic vertebrae have been fused, the area where bones are fused can’t move normally any longer. This can put stress on your spine above and below the fusion area and cause problems later.
Spinal fusion videos
Learn more about spinal fusion
Our goal is to provide you with the best spine care. Please find our list of resources and educational materials designed to help understand your specific spinal condition, treatment or post-surgery follow up care.