Advanced Spine Center
Stephen P. Courtney, MD
Orthopedic Spine Surgeon located in Plano, TX
Damage to your spine, whether from wear-and-tear or trauma, can cause severe pain and disability that requires lumbar fusion surgery. When you need the best care for your lower back, see Stephen Courtney, MD, at Advanced Spine Center. Based in Plano, Texas, since 1995, Dr. Courtney is a skilled orthopedic spine surgeon who offers personalized and precise lumbar fusion procedures. Learn more about lumbar fusion by calling the office or scheduling a consultation with Dr. Courtney online today.
Lumbar Fusion Q & A
What is lumbar fusion?
Lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure used to stabilize vertebrae in the spine to ease pain and discomfort. During lumbar fusion surgery, Dr. Courtney makes a small incision in your back to access the bones of your spine.
Using X-ray technology to guide the procedure, he removes damaged discs from the spine and replaces them with surgical cages filled with donor bone. These cages maintain the space between each vertebra and can relieve pressure on irritated tissues, including nerves. The cages are attached to the spine using a surgical plate and screws to provide long-term stability.
When is lumbar fusion recommended?
Dr. Courtney offers as many conservative and minimally invasive treatment options as possible, though he can recommend surgery if other measures haven’t worked for you. Conditions that can benefit from lumbar fusion include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Degenerative joint disease
- Herniated discs
- Lumbar radiculopathy
- Fractured vertebrae
Dr. Courtney determines if you’re a candidate for surgery based on your symptoms and diagnosis, a thorough orthopedic exam, and imaging, including X-rays and an MRI.
What types of lumbar fusion surgeries are available?
Dr. Courtney performs traditional open fusion surgeries, minimally invasive transforaminal lumbar interbody fusions (TLIF), and 360° lumbar fusions. While open surgery involves a larger incision than minimally invasive surgery, it could be the best option for you based on your specific situation.
Minimally invasive TLIF involves a small incision in your back directly above the damaged vertebral segment. Dr. Courtney uses X-rays to guide the surgery and places a series of dilators into the incision site to gently pull the surrounding muscles away from the surgical site. Due to the smaller incision, there’s less risk of infection, and you usually heal faster than after open surgery.
A 360° fusion involves surgically fusing both the front and back of the vertebral segment for increased stability. Dr. Courtney could recommend this for some conditions or as revision surgery. It can be done as open or minimally invasive surgery, depending on your needs.
Lumbar fusion could be the lower back pain solution you need. To find out if surgery is right for you, contact Advanced Spine Care by calling the office or booking an appointment online now.