Lumbar Fusion Research Paper

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BIO 111 Anatomy and Physiology 5/9/13 The spinal cord is very delicate, so when surgery is performed there is a risk that serious complications may occur. If the surgeon makes just one wrong move, the patient could face serious complications. Spinal-cord surgery candidates should take the time to learn about the possible complications before undergoing the procedure. Common Spinal Surgeries Anterior Cervical Discectomy: An anterior cervical discectomy is a procedure intended to remove herniated material from the nerves in the neck and relieve your symptoms. An anterior cervical discectomy is done through a small incision in the front of the neck. There is minimal damage to…show more content…
The fusion is designed to eliminate motion in the fused area, which in turn should decrease or eliminate the back pain created by the motion. The spine is not actually fused at the time of the surgery. Instead, the surgery puts the pieces in place, allowing the spine to fuse together. The fusion is a process that will set up over a 3 to 6 month (and up to 18 month) period of time following the spinal fusion surgery. A lumbar fusion can be done in the front or the back of the spine. If the fusion is performed in the front of your spine, the surgeon will remove the disc and place a bone graft (piece of pelvic bone) between the vertebrae where it will eventually fuse to the surrounding vertebrae to stop abnormal motion. If the fusion is performed in the back of your spine, a bone graft will be placed on the sides of the vertebrae where it will grow together to the vertebrae to stop abnormal motion. Posterior Cervical Discectomy: Posterior cervical discectomy is an operation performed to relieve pressure on one or more nerve roots. Pain is often felt in the neck, arms, and even legs. This procedure is done through a small incision in the back of the neck. Epidural Steroid Injections: An epidural steroid injection is an injection that gives relief from low back pain and from certain types of neck pain. Once injected into…show more content…
This complication may occur if the spinal cord's surrounding membrane is torn or punctured, or if it ruptures. In many cases this complication is noticed during the spinal-cord surgery and corrected right away. However, if it is not corrected during surgery, it can lead to serious complications such as a spinal infection or chronic headaches, and will need an additional spinal-cord surgery to be corrected. Nerve Damage Nerve damage is a possible complication of spinal-cord surgery. This complication can occur during the surgery and one or more nerves can be affected. When nerves become damaged, they can cause a decrease in the patient's sensation and ability to move. If an autonomic nerve is damaged, it can cause lung or heart problems or, in severe cases, death. Paralysis Spinal-cord surgery is a very delicate procedure and a surgery-related injury or infection can lead to paralysis. This complication of spinal cord surgery is rare, but possible. What part or parts of the body become paralyzed will depend on where the damage is located. Once paralysis occurs, it cannot be reversed. Literature cited * The Textbook of Spinal Surgery by, Keith H. Bridwell (Editor), Ronald L. DeWald (Editor) * Spinal Surgery Written Simply by a Spinal Surgeon by, Kenneth L. Jarolem

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