Used to ease and eliminate pain that results from a damaged disc impacting a nerve root in the lower back, during lumbar corpectomy and fusion a surgeon will remove the affected disc and fuse the adjacent vertebrae to promote stability in the spine.
Individuals who—because of a spinal fracture, spinal tumor or infection—have deteriorated or damaged vertebrae that are compressing nerve roots in the lower spine experience varying degrees of pain and a loss of normal range of movement. These individuals are often good candidates for lumbar corpectomy and fusion, which can correct these abnormalities and return the patient to daily activities and a pain-free life.
A lumbar corpectomy and fusion procedure begins with a surgeon making an incision in the left side of the patient to gain access to the affected portion of the spinal column. The discs around the damaged vertebrae are removed and the surface of the bones is cleared for the addition of a graft, which is implanted in the space that is then sealed to hold the graft in position. Additionally, a metal plate held in place with screws is implanted between the two vertebrae to promote stability. As healing commences, the graft will grow and fuse with the two vertebrae to form one solid piece of bone.
A patient is typically discharged from the hospital within one week, and a recovery plan utilizing physical and occupational therapy—as well techniques to avoid post-operative injuries to the affected area—will be initiated once limited mobility is restored.