What Is Spinal Fusion?
With spinal fusion surgery, spine vertebrae are ‘welded’ together. They connect and heal together. This then corrects and stabilizes your back and reduces pain. There are always risks to surgery, but satisfaction and success rates are high. Spinal fusion surgery is a permanent and common procedure. More than 30 million Americans undergo surgery each year and the procedure has been a successful and safe treatment option for decades.
Again, the aim of spinal fusion is to reduce pain-causing movement between vertebrae. There are two primary parts to the surgery:
- Bone Graft: The first goal is to decompress the pain-causing spinal cord and nerves. The surgeon then packs real or artificial bone graft between the vertebrae. This is how they fuse together – much like the healing of broken bones.
- Hardware: Screws, plates, and rods are next inserted to better hold the fusion together. This is called internal fixation.
How Long Does Spinal Fusion Surgery Take?
The length of surgery for spinal fusion can take 2 to 7 hours. It depends upon the severity and complexity of the procedure. It also depends upon the health of the patient and the number of vertebrae fused.
Physical therapy often starts 6 to 12 weeks after surgery.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication to manage your pain. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about prescription pain medicines.
It is likely you will spend a few days recovering in the hospital. After that, be patient. Do not try to return to life as normal too soon. You will receive at-home care instructions. Follow them best you can! You will also likely begin a physical rehabilitation plan.
In all, a spinal fusion procedure can cost $14,000 to $30,000. In most cases, spinal fusion is covered by insurance. Talk to your insurance provider for coverage details. Do know that with most surgeries, there can be several bills of charges. This includes the surgeon, surgery center, hospital, anesthesiologist, and pharmacy.
Costs With Insurance
Contact your insurance provider for coverage details. If you are unsure about your coverage details, give us a call. We are happy to guide you through the process.