Spinal Cord Fusions

What is spinal cord fusion?

Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure to reinforce the strength of the spine. Generally, we can compare the process to welding because both jobs are performed with a goal in mind: fusion. First, the small bones that make up the spine are welded to enhance the structure's stability. Next, the vertebrae are fused to prevent painful friction between the edges of the bones. Arthritis of the spine causes the vertebrae to move against each other, causing pain. Fortunately, spinal fusion prevents friction between the vertebrae.

How do you perform the procedure?

Spinal fusion can be done by connecting two or more vertebral bones to unify the parts in a single component. As a result, the surgery eliminates pain in the weakened areas of the bone.

Types of spinal fusion depend on the area that requires surgical attention, such as:

  • Cervical Spinal Fusion
    Cervical spinal fusion is a procedure that works by stabilising bones in the front of the neck. The procedure is designed to stabilise and stiffen the neck. After surgery, the patient can expect a stiff and sore neck that will eventually dissipate within a few weeks with rest and a complete rehabilitation program.
    An incision is created over the front of the neck where a badly damaged disc is removed, and a bone graft is inserted in the space and secured firmly with plates and screws.
  • Lumbar Spinal Fusion
    Lumbar spinal fusion is surgery performed on the lumbar spine over the patient's back. Lumbar spinal fusion can be performed minimally invasively to avoid damage to the back muscles. Therefore, a small incision can be made over the back to access the damaged portion of the lumbar spine. As a result, the back muscles are pushed instead of cut, making the patient's recovery much easier.
    The vertebral ends are then fused using graft material to fill the space between the ends.
  • Thoracic Spinal Fusion
    Several vertebral bones that make up the thoracic spine are fused. Thoracic spinal fusion involves surgical work on the upper portion and centre of the back. The transplanted bone unifies with the spinal column’s bone. As a result, the bone graft attaches to the natural bone to form a single piece.


1. Why do you perform spinal cord fusion?

Dr Bomela performs spinal fusion for one or more of the following conditions:

  • To remove a herniated or damaged spinal disc
  • To treat degenerative disc disease due to age or arthritis
  • To address abnormal spine curvature (scoliosis)
  • To treat a spinal infection
  • To remove a spinal tumour

2. What is the reason for a thoracic and lumbar fusion?

Thoracic and lumbar fusion surgery is done to assist with paediatric spinal deformity, disc degeneration, spinal tumours or spinal trauma that leads to spinal instability. The spine is realigned first before performing spinal fusion surgery.

3. Is decompression required before spinal fusion?

Decompression is required because bone spurs or anything pinching on the spinal nerves must be removed first before the spine is fused.