Internal Fixation Definition

Immobilization of the spine (usually with implants such as metallic screws and rods/plates, or interbody cages). Internal fixation serves to immobilize the spine while the bony bridge heals across the two vertebrae.

Metal fixation of the spine is considered a temporary splint to the spine to hold it while it fuses. If it fails to fuse (pseudoarthrosis) the metal can fatigue from the continued motion and may eventually break, pullout or loosen.

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