Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that affects approximately 32.5 million people in America alone, making this one of the most prevalent types of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down over time, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility.
Osteoarthritis can form in any joint, but the knees, hips, shoulders, and spine are often affected. Osteoarthritis in any joint can impact your quality of life, but it’s hard to ignore when your spine is stiff and sore.
If you’re dealing with osteoarthritis in your spine, spinal fusion surgery may be one solution to consider. Dr. John Regan and the team at Spine Group Beverly Hills in Beverly Hills, California, can help you determine if this safe and effective treatment is right for you.
Read on to learn more about spinal fusion surgery and when to consider it.
Why spinal fusion might be your answer for osteoarthritis
Many types of surgery can benefit a spine damaged by osteoarthritis, but a spinal fusion might be your answer if arthritis has damaged your joint so that it moves too much.
Spinal fusion welds two or more vertebrae together. Fusing the vertebrae stabilizes them and keeps them from moving. Not only does this stop joint movement, but it also prevents pain when you bend, lift, or twist.
Should you consider spinal fusion surgery for arthritis?
When treating osteoarthritis, spinal fusion surgery may not always be the first option. However, if other conservative treatments fail to eliminate pain, Dr. Regan may recommend surgery as a viable path forward.
Spinal fusion surgery might be right for you if you have:
Severe joint damage
Spinal fusion surgery may help if you have severe joint damage that is not responding to other treatments. In some cases, joint replacement surgery may not be an option, making spinal fusion surgery a viable alternative.
Spinal instability occurs when your spinal column can’t support the weight of your body, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Spinal fusion surgery can help stabilize the spine, improve overall function, and eliminate the symptoms of instability.
Spinal fusion surgery may be necessary to correct a spinal deformity. Diagnostic tests can confirm that damage to your spinal joints is causing your vertebrae to shift out of their proper place. In such cases, we may recommend spinal fusion surgery to correct the deformity, prevent future shifting, and stabilize your spine.
Already tried conservative treatments
There are many conservative treatments for arthritis, including pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, hot and cold therapy, injections, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise.
However, if conservative treatments aren’t enough to improve your quality of life, the pros of surgery may outweigh the cons. Spinal fusion can help eliminate pain when non-surgical options just aren’t enough.
Dedication to the recovery
As with any surgery, committing to spinal fusion shouldn’t be taken lightly. For example, recovery from spinal fusion surgery can be lengthy and may require physical therapy and rehabilitation. Staying dedicated to your after-care instructions and physical therapy routines can help support your healing journey.
Explore your options
While spinal fusion surgery may not be the first treatment option for osteoarthritis, it can be effective in certain cases. If you are experiencing severe joint damage, spinal instability, or a spinal deformity, it may be the solution you need to give you back your quality of life. During your consultation, Dr. Regan determines if this type of surgery is viable for you.
Questions about osteoarthritis treatment options? Give us a call at 424-238-3281 or book an appointment online.