SPINE FUSIONS: THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES
A spine fusion is an effective treatment for an unstable spine (spondylolisthesis).
Spinal fusions incorporate the use of rods, screws or plates to prevent motion in the hopes of providing stability and reduce pain.
However, spinal fusions will place extra stress on the disc above or below a fusion. This stress can cause disc herniations and the wearing out of joints. If these disc herniations press on nerves, a person will develop back and leg pain. This is a frustrating problem facing many patients who undergo fusions.
Many patients who have these fusions end up getting additional fusion surgery later because of the pain. This condition is called, "adjacent segment disease."
The benefits of endoscopic spine surgery is that in some of these patients, the surgeon can remove the disc or open a nerve without doing another fusion.
This is why it is encouraged to seek a second opinion when considering repeat spine surgery. Endoscopics might offer a less invasive option.