What Is Lumbar Fusion?

Lumbar fusion is a surgical intervention designed to stabilize the lumbar spine by permanently joining or fusing two or more vertebrae together. The procedure aims to alleviate pain and improve spine stability, often by eliminating motion between the affected vertebrae.

Indications for Lumbar Fusion:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Lumbar fusion may be recommended for patients with severe degenerative disc disease, where the intervertebral discs in the lower back break down, leading to pain and instability.
  • Spinal Stenosis: When spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal) in the lumbar region causes pain, weakness, and difficulty walking, fusion may be considered.
  • Spondylolisthesis: This condition involves one vertebra slipping forward onto another. Fusion can realign the vertebrae and prevent further slippage.
  • Fractures: In cases of severe lumbar fractures or trauma, fusion may be necessary to stabilize the spine.Tumors and Infections: Fusion can also be used to treat spinal tumors or infections that affect the lumbar spine.

The Surgical Procedure:

During a lumbar fusion procedure, the surgeon accesses the spine through an incision in the lower back. Here are the key steps:

  • Vertebrae Preparation: The surgeon removes the damaged intervertebral disc between the affected vertebrae, creating a space for bone graft material.
  • Bone Graft: A bone graft is placed in the gap where the disc used to be. This graft can come from the patient’s own bone (autograft), donor bone (allograft), or synthetic material.
  • Instrumentation: In many cases, the surgeon may use screws, rods, or other implants to stabilize the vertebrae and promote fusion.
  • Fusion Process: Over time, the bone graft material and the patient’s own bone will fuse together, creating a solid bridge between the vertebrae. This process typically takes several months.

Recovery and Rehabilitation:

After lumbar fusion surgery, patients will need to undergo a period of recovery and rehabilitation. This may include physical therapy, pain management, and lifestyle adjustments. It’s essential to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to optimize the chances of a successful fusion and minimize complications.

Potential Risks and Benefits:

Like any surgery, lumbar fusion carries risks, including infection, bleeding, and complications related to anesthesia. However, it can provide significant benefits by reducing pain, improving spinal stability, and enhancing overall quality of life for patients with certain spinal conditions.

In conclusion, lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure used to stabilize the lumbar spine and alleviate pain caused by various conditions. It is typically considered when conservative treatments have been ineffective, and the decision to undergo surgery should be made in consultation with a qualified healthcare provider after a thorough evaluation of the individual’s condition.

What is Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)?

Patients undergo a laminectomy followed by pedicle screw fixation and interbody stabilization. This is the procedure of choice for any patient with instability, severe degeneration or spondylolisthesis.

Meet the Team

Two Surgeon Model

Your surgery is performed by both a Neurosurgeon and Orthopedic Spine Surgeon for optimal safety and outcome. The Neurosurgeons will approach the spine and decompress the nerves and spine cord while the Orthopedic Surgeon will perform the fusion. Each surgeon is there during the entire surgery assisting the other with their particular part. Having two surgeons decreases the chances of any errors or problems and decreases the length of surgery.

The Lumbar Spine Center is dedicated to the treatment and outcomes of patients who suffer from problems related to the lumbar spine. Our program is focused on high quality clinical outcomes and the most effective treatments for all conditions related to the lumbar spine. To learn more, schedule a consultation at one of our two locations.  

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    Based on 74 reviews
    Angelo Troiano
    Angelo Troiano
    November 14, 2022
    Very professional and thorough with my surgery.
    Faith Schwenker
    Faith Schwenker
    March 22, 2022
    Dr. Abraham’s did my surgery and it was a great success. After nearly 8 years of pain, I finally found a doctor who could help me. My sciatica nerve was compressing my L4 and L5 which was giving me pain and a very poor quality of life. Not only does Dr. Abraham’s have a great bedside manner, but also he certainly knows the complexities of the spine. Thank you so much for giving me my life back!! P.S. I have referred his name to several of my friends and they too have had a successful outcome!!
    Kathleen Cully
    Kathleen Cully
    May 28, 2021
    Dr. Abrahams is an extremely compassionate and highly skilled neurosurgeon who, along with Dr. C. Shannon, saved my husband's life by removing a complicated malignant metastatic brain tumor during a very long surgery. In addition, Dr. Abrahams has been my surgeon for several spinal procedures and I trust him with my life.
    Kathleen Darcy
    Kathleen Darcy
    February 22, 2021
    My experience was great 😊. Dr Abraham was fabulous.
    Xavier Masi
    Xavier Masi
    February 15, 2021
    Dr. Abrahams is the best, very caring and takes time out to listen instead of rushing!!! thanks Doc.. I might have to come see you again. Anthony
    February 15, 2021
    😷 Dr Abrahams is THE BEST! He is the absolute best brain & spine surgeon by far! His group is beyond excellent! My back & neck had been fractured in an accident, and I made the mistake of seeing a "spine doctor on Tarrytown Road," who did not want to see me again unless I needed more surgery! I was outright denied an appointment, even after this "doctor" performed a lumbar laminectomy on me!!!😡 I was miserable and in excruciating pain. Then everything changed.... 🙏THANK GOD I FOUND DR ABRAHAMS! He took all the time he needed with me to come up with a new plan and thoroughly explained the correct surgery I needed. I had a fractured sacrum, lower back S1, right up to L5, needing spinal fusion. I also had cervical herniations. My life changed after Dr Abrahams took care of my surgery, his office still checks up on me to make sure I'm doing well. The office and entire staff is so helpful, friendly and caring. I recommend Dr Abrahams on a regular basis to people I meet that have brain or spine problems. Dr Abrahams is also BRILLIANT. He is the creator of many medical devices that he received patents for. When you go in his office your eyes won't know what to look at first he has so many awards & patents. He's a MUST GO TO doctor! He changed my life, and I am forever grateful to him, Lisa (his personal coordinator), and his entire staff, fellow doctors that are also in group with Dr Abrahams. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HIM as well as the doctors in practice within his group. You will get the best care by far.😊
    Helena Mattis
    Helena Mattis
    January 12, 2021
    Dr. Abrahams literally saved my life. I went to him back in 2004 in horrible shape after being misdiagnosed by my Primary Care Physician. He went above and beyond in saving my life. I highly recommend him for his skills, ability, his humanity and love he demonstrates for both his patients and his work. Helena Edwards
    Farah Rubeo
    Farah Rubeo
    September 13, 2020
    Dr. Abrahams performed back surgery on me 6 years ago . I was 38 yrs old and in excruciating pain, not able to walk for longer longer than 5 minutes, sleeplessness nights and constantly being put on pain medication , including countless rounds of PT. Surgery was my only option to return to the quality of life I had before my injury and I am beyond grateful for Dr. Abrahams and his team. I have been playing softball, exercising , walking my dog and enjoying everything that I have missed for years! Dr. Abrahams to me Is a lifesaver! The best of the best !