Benjamin R. Cohen, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Spinal Surgeon & Neurosurgeon located in Garden City, NY
When your spine loses stability due to injury or disease, the resulting pain often persists despite standard medical treatment. If you’re at that stage, a spinal fusion may provide the relief you need. Benjamin Cohen, MD, is an expert in stabilizing your spine with a spinal fusion. To learn more about how this treatment option can improve your quality of life, schedule an appointment online or call the office in Garden City, New York.
What is a spinal fusion?
A spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that permanently unites two or more adjoining vertebrae. When you have a spinal fusion, movement between the vertebrae is eliminated. As a result, your pain is relieved, and the spine’s strength and stability are restored.
When might I need a spinal fusion?
Dr. Cohen may recommend a spinal fusion to treat fractured vertebrae or spinal instability due to osteoporotic compression fractures. He may also treat spinal deformities such as kyphosis and scoliosis with a spinal fusion.
A spinal fusion is often needed to restore stability after surgical procedures to decompress the spine or to remove a herniated disc. Dr. Cohen may consider the procedure to help treat conditions such as:
- Spinal stenosis
- Bone spurs
- Enlarged facet joints
- Spondylolisthesis (slipped disc)
- Thickened ligaments
- Degenerative disc disease
A spinal fusion helps restore a spine that’s weakened by a tumor or infection.
How is a spinal fusion performed?
To perform a spinal fusion, Dr. Cohen applies a bone graft to the targeted vertebrae, then uses metal plates, rods, or screws to hold the bones in place while they fuse. The graft material stimulates growth between the two bones. As the adjoining bones grow toward the graft, they ultimately join to form one solid bone.
The graft material may come from a small piece of bone removed from your hip, which contains living cells that stimulate bone growth. Instead of using your bone, Dr. Cohen may use a graft from a bone bank or a fusion cage, which is made of biocompatible material and filled with substances that trigger bone growth.
Is spinal fusion performed using minimally invasive surgery?
Dr. Cohen performs spinal fusions using minimally invasive surgery whenever possible. However, not everyone is a good candidate for this technique; it depends on factors like the reason you need a spinal fusion and your overall health.
Minimally invasive surgery causes less trauma to your body compared with open surgery because the incisions are small and your muscles aren’t cut. You’ll have minimal bleeding during surgery, less postoperative pain, and your recovery is quicker.
If your back pain continues — or worsens — after conventional medical care, you may be a candidate for a spinal fusion. To learn more, call Benjamin Cohen, MD, or book an appointment online.