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Fusing vertebrae in the lumbar curve may help ease lower back and leg pain. Anterior lumbar fusion is done through an incision in your stomach area. Depending on how many vertebrae are fused, the surgery may take from 3 to 8 hours.
The Fusion Procedure
The disk is removed from between the vertebrae to be fused.
Bone graft is packed into the now-empty space between the vertebrae. In time, the graft and the bone around it grow into one solid unit.
To help keep your spine steady and promote fusion, extra support (see below) may be used.
The incision is closed with sutures or staples.
The disk between the vertebrae is removed.
Bone graft is packed into the now-empty space between the vertebrae.
Over several months, the bone graft and vertebrae fuse into a solid unit.
If Extra Support Is Needed
Metal supports called instrumentation may be used to help steady your spine while it fuses. These supports are not removed. Your surgeon may use one or more types of support. The most common type of support used with anterior lumbar fusion is a cage.
Contact Wisconsin River Orthopaedic Institute at 715.201.3624 for your orthopaedic needs. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation.