Spinal fusion corrects the spinal condition caused by spondylolisthesis, in which weakened joints or fractured bones allow a vertebra to slip forward and pinch a nerve root. The pinched nerve can cause pain to radiate down to the legs and feet through the sciatic nerve.
1. Lamina Removed
First, the surgeon removes the lamina (the portion of the vertebra that covers the spinal cord). Removing the lamina relieves pressure and pain.
2. Bone Cleared
Next, the surgeon takes away any bone that may be pinching the nerve root.
3. Bone Grafts Implanted
Bone grafts are added to the sides of the spine. The grafted bone will fuse to the spine, forming a solid bone.
4. Screws/Rods Inserted
Rods are secured to the spine with screws to hold the spine and discs in place while the grafts heal.
End of Procedure
Over time, the bone graft fragments will fuse into place, keeping the discs from slipping.