For patients with spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or degenerative disc disease, spinal fusion is often necessary to correct deformity or stop excessive movement of the vertebrae. Degenerative conditions can cause spinal instability, leading to premature wear and tear of the intervertebral joints and nerve compression. An abnormal curve in the spinal column can cause similar problems.
With New York spinal fusion, the surgeon ‘locks” two or more vertebrae together in an attempt to increase spinal stability and relieve pain. Fusion does not happen immediately – it is a process that involves the insertion of stabilizing implants and bone grafts to “set” the bone; bony union occurs over a matter of months as the bones mend and grow together.
There are several ways to achieve spinal fusion for our NYC patients, including minimally invasive procedures. Posterior spinal fusion in NYC is done after a damaged disc has been removed. Not every fusion requires placement of hardware (i.e., plates, screws), but all require bone graft. Bone or bone substitutes used in the graft stimulate healing/bone growth, in addition to providing structure/maintaining space between vertebrae.
Treatment of a broken bone in the spine is similar to treatment of a broken bone elsewhere in the body. Spinal fusion immobilizes the vertebrae (much like a cast) so that proper healing can occur. Posterior spinal fusion typically requires a brief hospital stay, with patients walking the day after surgery.
Recovery time is dependent on a variety of factors, but ultimately results in regained function and a return to an active quality of life. The total healing process, including the initial recovery period and physical therapy regimen, can take three to six months. In general, it progresses as follows for most of our NYC patients:
A posterior spinal fusion typically requires a hospital stay of approximately two to five days. During that time, the focus is on wound care, pain management, and learning how to get in and out of bed safely, without bending or twisting the spine.
After being discharged from the NYC hospital, you will need to rest at home for a few weeks. During this time, you will slowly increase your movements and range of motion under Dr. Stieber’s guidance.
Physical therapy will begin six weeks after surgery and can last for several months. Dr. Stieber will closely follow your progress and provide you with a personalized timeline for your return to normal physical activity.
Our patients' health and safety is our number one priority. Our office continues to be open for all email, telephone, and online inquiries. You can call us at 646-916-3962 or contact us via email to schedule your virtual telemedicine or in-person visit. Our doctors will be holding regular office hours for virtual video consultations and follow-up visits that permit you to stay in the comfort of your own home, utilizing your computer, tablet, or mobile device.
Additionally, we will continue to see select patients in the office for consultation and follow-up visits, including preoperative and postoperative appointments. Our doctors continue to perform procedures in our private, free-standing surgery center that offers an array of outpatient surgical services to treat spinal issues such as acute back pain, disc herniations, sciatica, and pinched nerves in the back or neck. We are also able to offer clean and efficient on-site x-ray capabilities in our office.
Please know that we join our community in taking all advised precautions* to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and ensure the safety of patients and staff.
Call today to schedule a consultation and explore your options with the Spine Center at OrthoManhattan.
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