Lumbar Injuries and Spinal Fusion

Legal and Medical Resources for Lumbar Injuries and Lumbar Fusion Surgery

You have likely reached this page because you or someone you know has had or is having a lumbar spinal fusion. Perhaps it was due to an accident that damaged the lower back, or from a degenerative condition like arthritis, or perhaps from a lifetime of heavy work. This site attempts to answer common questions you may have about lumbar spinal fusion and lumbar injuries in general, including what causes them to occur, what the fusion procedure involves, alternative treatments, and likely outcomes.

Lumbar spinal fusion is a procedure that prevents the movement of the vertebral bodies in the lumbar spine. It can be done in several ways and there can be two to five vertebral bodies involved. The procedure works best when only two vertebral bodies are involved. It is designed to stop motion of a painful aspect of the vertebral spine. It should decrease the pain caused by the damaged joint.

A bone graft can be used to seal the joint or different metal pieces can be used to connect bone to bone. The motion of the joint is stopped. It can be used in cases of severe lumbar injury or in degenerative joint disease or spondylolisthesis of the joint. Scoliosis or other deformity of the lumbar spine is a rarer indication for spinal fusion surgery.

Spinal fusion takes the discs between the vertebrae and renders them unable to flex and bend the spine. The facet joints are also somewhat mobile and these are prevented from moving. If a bone graft is used, it allows two bones to grow into one long bone. The bone is usually harvested from the hip. Sometimes a cadaver bone is used (allograft bone) or synthetic bone is used.

In this website, you’ll learn why people get spinal fusions and what may happen when they get one, as well as steps you can take to protect legal rights you may have if your spinal injury resulted from incidents such as motor vehicle collisions, workplace injuries, and sports activities.