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Spinal fusion (spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis) is the surgical method of joining two or more verebrae. It is done most commonly in the lumbar region of the spine, but it is also used to treat cervical and thoracic problems. In this procedure, the damaged and painful vertebrae are fused into a solid mass of stable bone. Fusion of the spine is used primarily to eliminate the pain caused by abnormal motion of the vertebrae by immobilizing the faulty vertebrae themselves, which is usually caused by degenerative conditions. However, spinal fusion is also the preferred way to treat most spinal deformities, specifically scoliosis and kyphosis (which cause abnormal curvature of the spine). But, the results may vary according to the individual. Some may not feel any improvement in their back pain even after the surgery.
Your doctor will decide whether you need the surgery after conducting a few tests, including imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs and CTs.


  • Anterior lumbar interbody fusion (ALIF)- the disc is accessed from an anterior abdominal incision
  • Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) – the disc is accessed from a posterior incision over the spine
  • Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) – the disc is accessed from a posterior incision on one side of the spine
  • Transpsoas interbody fusion (DLIF or XLIF) – the disc is accessed from an incision through the psoas muscle on one side of the spine


In this procedure, the vertebrae that need to be fused are exposed by the desired approach, the intervertebral gaps are fitted with a cage filled with bone graft which enables fusion of the bones.


The patient may have to stay in the hospital for two to four days. During the first few weeks after the surgery, the doctor may suggest basic exercises such as routine walking with protective brace and stretching exercises. The patient will also be advised to avoid hyperextension activities. Recovery takes weeks to months. Some studies say that the spinal fusion surgery may not completely relieve the pain while most patients do experience an improvement of their symptoms. Also, this procedure cannot prevent the occurrence of future spine problems at different levels.

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    TOSH(Trauma & Orthopaedic Speciality Hospital)
    #72, Ormes Road,
    Kilpauk, Chennai
    Tamil Nadu,India
    Pin: 600010.

    For Appointments:

    +91-44 4903 4903
    +91 9894467903