Spinal Fusion Definition

Spinal fusion is a surgery designed to decrease back pain by stopping the motion at a vertebral segment. The procedure involves placing a bone graft to an area of the spine to set up the natural process that causes the bone graft to grow between the two vertebral segments. Spinal fusion at one motion segment may be effective in relieving back pain; however, spinal fusion of more than two segments is rarely advised since it removes normal motion in the lower back and places too much stress across the remaining joints. Spinal fusion may be recommended for patients with pain and loss of function from degenerative disc disease or spondylolisthesis, or with deformity from scoliosis and other spinal problems.