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What are the pros and cons of this operation?

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My dad is having this operation on his back. He's having two plates in his back removed and then two virtibrates are being fused together. My question is: What are the pros and cons of this operation?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

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The best-case scenario in any spinal fusion surgery is that it will cure your pain and prevent a recurrence. The reality is that your pain may or may not completely disappear. In fact, some lumbar spinal fusion patients report only a reduction in pain or recurring flare-ups. Due to the nature of vertebral degeneration, the new, post-surgical position of the joints may actually increase the pain. Spinal fusion risks include a lack of certainty about how much and what type of pain will be decreased.

The success rate for lumbar spinal fusion ranges from 65 percent to over 90 percent, depending upon the procedure and your health condition. If you have a "simple" spinal fusion surgery involving two vertebrae and you are otherwise healthy, your chances are good. Your joints can fuse quickly, and you may be back in full activity within about three months.

Therefore, the success of an operation entirety depends on the underlying health condition of your father and also on experienced surgeon. The outcome of the surgery will be best if you approach a well experienced surgeon.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask if you have any further questions.

Thank you

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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