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Are there any drawbacks or side effects of spinal fusion surgery?

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There are drawbacks to spinal fusion surgery. It eliminates the natural movement of two vertebrae, which limits movement. It also puts more stress on the vertebrae next to the fusion, therefore increasing the chance of fracture in those vertebrae. Even after healing is complete, you may need to avoid certain lifting and twisting activities to prevent putting excess stress on the spine.

SOURCES: 

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 

F. Todd Wetzel, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at Temple University School of Medicine. 

The North American Spine Society. 

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for compression fractures of the spine." 

The Arthritis Foundation, vol 52.  Bulletin on the Rhuematic Diseases

University of Maryland Spine Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion."

Reviewed by Ross Brakeville on January 21, 2017

SOURCES: 

Michael Schaufele, MD, physiatrist and professor of orthopaedics at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. 

Rex Marco, MD, chief of spine surgery and musculoskeletal oncology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. 

F. Todd Wetzel, MD, professor of orthopaedic surgery and neurosurgery at Temple University School of Medicine. 

The North American Spine Society. 

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty for compression fractures of the spine." 

The Arthritis Foundation, vol 52.  Bulletin on the Rhuematic Diseases

University of Maryland Spine Center: "A Patient's Guide to Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion."

Reviewed by Ross Brakeville on January 21, 2017

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What are spinal compression fractures?

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