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For patients with spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or degenerative disc disease, spinal fusion is sometimes needed to correct a deformity or halt any excessive movement of the vertebrae. Degenerative conditions can generate spinal instability that leads to premature wear and tear of the intervertebral joints and nerve compression. In addition, having an abnormal curve in the spinal column can cause similar complications.

When you receive a spinal fusion in New York, the surgeon ‘locks” two or more vertebrae together in an effort to relieve pain and increase spinal stability. A fusion of the vertebrates does not happen immediately – it is a gradual process that involves the insertion of stabilizing bone grafts and implants to “set” the bone; bone union can take place in a matter of months as the bones mend and grow together.

Procedure Overview

There are various ways our NYC patients can achieve spinal fusion and other minimally invasive procedures. Posterior spinal fusion in NYC is performed after a damaged disc has been removed. Not every fusion depends upon the placement of hardware (i.e. screws and plates), but all require a bone graft. Bone or bone substitutes are used in the graft to stimulate healing and activate bone growth, in addition to providing structure/maintaining space between vertebrae.

Posterior Spinal Fusion
  • The spine is approached from either the back (posterior), front (anterior), or a combination of the back/front.
  • Posterior fusion is normally conducted in the lower back (lumbar) and the upper back (thoracic) regions.
  • Bone for the graft is obtained from the patient (autograft) or collected from a bone bank (allograft), then wedged precisely into place between the vertebrae.
  • Depending on the procedure imaging software, robotics and neuro-navigation may be used.

Treatment of a broken bone in the spine is similar to treatment of a broken bone in other parts of the body. Spinal fusion immobilizes the vertebrae (as in the case of a cast) so that proper healing can begin to occur Posterior spinal fusion usually requires a short stay at the hospital, with patients walking the day after surgery.

The Recovery

Your recovery time can vary depending on a number of factors but ultimately results in regained function and a return to an active quality of life. The total healing process can take three to six months, however this includes the initial recovery period and physical therapy regimen. For most of our NYC patients it progresses as follows:

Posterior Spinal Fusion

Hospital Stay

A posterior spinal fusion may require a hospital stay of approximately two to five days. During that time, the focus is on pain management, wound care, and learning how to get in and out of bed comfortably and safely, without twisting or bending the spine.

Recovery at Home

You will need to rest at home for a few weeks after being discharged from the hospital. During this time, you will gradually increase your range of motion and movements under Dr. Stieber’s guidance.

Physical Therapy

You will need to begin physical therapy six weeks after surgery and this can last for several months. Dr. Stieber will closely follow your improvements and provide you with a tailor-made timeline for your return to normal physical activity.

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Virtual Consultation

Dear Patients:

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.

The following precautionary measures have been established to ensure the safest environment possible:

  • All patients are screened both prior to and on the day of their office appointment. Patients will not be permitted in the office and will be asked to reschedule their appointment if:
    • You or anyone in your household are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, or shortness of breath.
    • You have been in contact with anybody who has tested positive for coronavirus or have traveled (both domestically and internationally) within the last 14 days.
  • We have updated our patient and visitor policies:
    • Only a limited number of patients will be permitted on the office hour schedule.
    • No additional visitors or family members are allowed to accompany the patient during their office visit, unless the patient is in need of an aide or a translator
    • Infants, children, and adolescents are asked to stay home and will not be permitted to accompany the patient to their appointment.

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