Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

How Lumbar Fusion Can Put an End to Your Lower Back Pain

Low back pain affects so many people every year, and it can be very debilitating. Pain can stem from not only back injuries, but also degenerative conditions in the spine. No matter what the cause, one thing is for sure — you need to find an effective treatment as soon as possible so you can get back to your active lifestyle.

At Kellogg Brain and Spine, our team specializes in the many causes of low back pain. Our expert neurosurgeon, Dr. Jordi Kellogg, helps you come up with a treatment plan that’s personalized to your pain and situation. One of the treatment plans we offer is lumbar fusion to help rid you of your excruciating back pain.

Causes of back pain

Back pain is something that can really affect your life and get in the way of the things you love. Sometimes, an injury or condition is mild and goes away on its own with minimal treatment. However, if your pain persists for more than a few months, even after conservative treatment, you’re most likely dealing with a chronic condition.

Injuries are one way that you could end up with chronic low back pain. This could be from a fall or an accident that leads to damage in your spine. There are other conditions that aren’t caused by injury, but lead to chronic pain, including:

Another condition that causes chronic back pain is deformities in your spine, such as scoliosis and kyphosis. Many of these conditions can be treated with conservative measures. However, if these treatments fail to relieve your pain, surgery may be the next option.

What is a lumbar fusion? 

When there’s a problem with one of your discs or vertebrae in your spine, pain and decreased mobility usually follows. Although this type of pain can usually be managed with conservative treatments, sometimes that just isn’t enough. In this case a lumbar fusion may be necessary to relieve your pain and improve your quality of life.

So what does this procedure involve? Your spine is made up of the bony vertebrae and a spongy disc between the moveable vertebrae. When you have one of the above conditions, just moving your back can lead to severe pain. Lumbar fusions basically make two separate vertebrae into one large segment to help stabilize the problem area.

For this procedure, Dr. Kellogg uses bone grafting between the two vertebrae that are causing you pain. Once he adds the bone graft, it stimulates your body to grow bone tissue between the two vertebrae to eventually form one large bony segment.

This allows stabilization of your painful joint, and also significantly decreases the motion in that area of your spine.

How it helps your pain

If you’re dealing with lower back pain, the discomfort usually originates in the disc space between your vertebral bodies, especially with movement. It’s most likely due to your spinal nerves being compressed.

Lumbar fusion helps your pain by limiting the amount of movement you have in the damaged spinal joint. By adding bone grafting to the problem vertebrae, Dr. Kellogg helps get rid of your pain by turning two vertebral segments into one. 

This procedure not only decreases your pain due to stabilization of your spine, but also provides strength to your back. Strength comes from the improved alignment in the damaged area of your spine. 

Of course, this surgery is like every other surgery, in that it does have risks that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, if Dr. Kellogg is suggesting a lumbar fusion, it most likely means that you’ve tried everything else without relief, and the benefits outweigh the risks. 

When back pain is ruling your life, and you think surgery could help, request an appointment while you’re here on our website. Or you can schedule a consultation by calling the nearest office -- in either Portland or Wilsonville, Oregon. 

You Might Also Enjoy...

Can Spinal Stenosis Be Reversed?

A diagnosis of spinal stenosis may have your head spinning with what to do next and whether you can reverse the damage. Keep reading to discover more about spinal stenosis and if you can successfully turn back the hands of time on your spine.

Understanding SI Joint Dysfunction and Pain

If you suffer from chronic low back pain, it could be from your sacroiliac joint, also known as the SI joint. Keep reading to learn more about SI joint dysfunction and how you can control your pain.

Preparing for Spine Surgery: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Pain in your back or neck can significantly affect your life. Spine surgery may be your next step if you've tried everything else without relief. Keep reading to learn how to prepare for spine surgery to ensure a successful outcome.

What to Expect After Your Laminectomy

If you need a laminectomy for back or neck pain, it’s important that you understand the procedure before going in for surgery. Read on to learn what you can expect during the recovery period after your laminectomy.