Lumbar Spinal Fusion: What Is It?

Back fusion, also known as lumbar spinal fusion, is a type of surgery performed to connect vertebrae in the back. In the procedure, bone is removed from one area in your body and used to connect vertebrae. A metal implant may also be used. The primary purpose of fusions is to reduce or eliminate pain caused by problems like degenerative joint disease, scoliosis, and other spinal problems. The surgery is a major procedure with a long recovery time. It’s also expensive and comes with serious risks. Furthermore, studies are mixed. There’s no way to know for sure if it will work. Patients may want to consider options other than spinal fusion.

Non-Invasive Alternatives to Spinal Fusion Surgery

If you’re in severe pain and your doctor has recommended surgery, you may want to research the alternatives to back fusion first. Natural ways to address a spinal problem can include massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and myofascial release. Patients may also receive Prolotherapy injections for pain management. Sufferers are also encouraged to learn exercises and stretches as well as undergo nutritional therapy to resolve potential nutrient deficiencies. Spinal treatments have evolved over the years and now surgery is not the only option.

Avoid Back Surgery with Holistic Therapy

At Blatman Health and Wellness, helping patients recover is our number one priority. If we can help you avoid back surgery, we will. Our integrative therapies offer a new approach to treating and managing pain. Modern ways to treat pain don’t always focus on the root cause, only the symptom of pain itself. We prefer to address both: your pain and why this is happening to you. If you’re ready to take control of your pain, call our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Blatman now.

Spinal Fusion Risks and Cost

On average, a back fusion will cost around $100,000. This cost can increase depending on the severity of the condition and how complex the procedure is. It’s important to keep in mind that this cost is only for the procedure itself. There are often many other expenses such as missed work, travel, and prescriptions that can add up to thousands of dollars or more. Perhaps the biggest problem with a spinal fusion, besides the extreme cost, is that there’s no guarantee it’ll work. In fact, spinal fusions have a startling high failure rate.

It’s also important to keep in mind that if you do have a fusion, there’s about a 20% chance that you’ll need to undergo another surgery for secondary complications like internal bleeding and nerve damage.

Is Lower Back Surgery Over Recommended by Doctors?

One shocking fact about back fusions is that the procedure is often recommended by doctors when it’s not needed. 80% of the people in this world will have some form of back pain in their lives. Not all cases require surgery. There are many nonsurgical options available that are far more affordable and less risky than a fusion.

There Are Other Options

There are countless patients who’ve been able to reduce or even eliminate their back pain through stretching, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments. In addition, dietary adjustments and herbal remedies can offer significant relief.

Lower Back Fusion Risks and Complications

Back surgery is an expensive and risky surgery that some medical professionals believe is unnecessary. Unfortunately, patients around the world are often recommended the surgery by their primary care doctor when there are other alternatives available. In most cases, chronic lower back pain is not cause enough for a procedure as serious as a spinal fusion. Many patients could experience relief just through a combination of lifestyle and dietary changes as well as complementary therapies that include stretching, chiropractic adjustments, massage, and more.

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