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Patient Education: Diseases Conditions Treatments & Procedures



Occassionally back pain may be caused by an area of instability in your spine. Instability can be caused by spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or advanced degeneration of a spinal level. Movement of this spinal level is painful and fusion will join these two vertebrae together in order to eliminate all movement. You will not notice an appreciable difference in your ability to bend but you will have less pain when we fuse one level of your spine. Fusion is not for everyone and your surgeon will determine if you are an appropriate candidate for fusion. We often perform a fusion in combination with a decompression and rarely a fusion by itself. To help get the bones to fuse - rods, screws or cages are used with bone graft. Occassionally bone graft is taken from the hip or just locally from the area of the decompression. Your surgeon will go over the method of fusion, bone graft and what implant is best for your case.

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