Spinal Fusion & Pedicle Screw Removal
If you require spinal surgery to heal, it can feel daunting and scary. Many people are fearful of surgery involving the spine, preferring to try to live with chronic pain rather than risk some terrible outcome. In reality, spinal surgery is a safe and well-researched procedure, with many specialists studying and publishing extensively.
The days of heavy metal braces or months in a hospital, unable to move, are now relics of another time. Advances in the field have made both surgery and recovery safer and more comfortable than ever before. It’s not something to fear but an end to pain and limited mobility. Spinal implants have come so far that some can be made with a 3D printer.
What is Spinal Fusion?
Spinal fusion is by far the most popular type of back surgery. It involves a graft of two bony surfaces to make one stronger surface. Spinal instrumentation accomplishes this by building a solid structure while the spine heals. Some examples of the instruments used include the pedicle screw, artificial discs, plates, rods, and bridges.
This surgery can cure deformities caused by diseases such as scoliosis, heal injuries due to a broken back, or replace discs or bones that have deteriorated for one reason or another. Spinal instrumentation is much like a cast on a fractured arm, holding the break in place until the body mends on its own.
Unlike a cast, immobilization takes place on the inside of the body. Not only are you able to move and function after spinal surgery, but in most cases, you’re likely to feel more mobile and pain-free than before. Many patients only wear a brace for a feeling of extra comfort, not out of any medical necessity.
What Is Pedicle Screw Removal Surgery?
A pedicle screw is a spinal implant that helps hold vertebrae in place while the spine heals. They’re heavy-duty screws positioned above and beneath the vertebrae being corrected, encouraging the bones to fuse together quickly by keeping them in place.
For the most part, the only time you’ll ever think about a pedicle screw following spinal surgery is when you set off the metal detector at the airport. Otherwise, you won’t feel them, and as the bone fuses, it does so around these spinal implants.
In about 5 to 10% of surgeries, the screw causes discomfort, or the patient is hyper-aware of the screw’s presence. When this occurs, a minor follow-up surgery is required to remove the implants that are no longer needed. This only occurs after the spine has healed and the problem has been corrected. If you do need to have this hardware removed, it is considered minor surgery. In most cases, it’s never an issue, but a talented spinal surgeon will also understand pedicle screw removal is part of follow-up care.
Schell Spinal: Your Resource For All Things Spinal
Whether you need spinal surgery, a spinal fusion procedure, or want to have pedicle screws or other spinal hardware removed after healing, an experienced and knowledgeable medical team is your best resource. Schell Spinal is here to help you walk through the world with all the confidence and comfort you deserve. Call our team today for information or to schedule a spinal evaluation. The path to better health is easier than you think!
Professional spinal care and pain care experts are standing by to assist you. If we are not able to answer your question without an on-site appointment, we can schedule one for you.