Thoracic fusion provides a safe and effective treatment for chronic back pain caused by degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, or scoliosis. At Coastal Spine, expert spine surgeons use thoracic fusion to treat various musculoskeletal problems. Call the office in Mount Laurel, Swell, Galloway, Toms River, Vineland, or West Orange, New Jersey, today to request a thoracic fusion consultation or make your appointment online.
Thoracic fusion is surgery to treat problems of the thoracic spine –– the 12 vertebrae in the middle of your back. These bones protect your spinal cord and anchor your rib cage, which protects vital organs like your lungs and heart.
The vertebrae that make up your thoracic spine are incredibly tough, but they’re less mobile than those in your neck and lower back. As a result, they’re more susceptible to injury and general wear-and-tear.
Coastal Spine uses thoracic fusion to treat various back problems that don’t improve with more conservative treatments. These problems include:
Thoracic fusion can treat vertebral fractures. If you break one of your thoracic vertebrae in a car accident or slip-and-fall, fusion surgery could provide lasting relief.
Thoracic fusion is an open surgery that takes three to four hours.
There are two surgical approaches –– anterior spine fusion and posterior spine fusion.
Anterior surgery involves making small incisions in your abdomen, while posterior surgery involves making small incisions in your back. The surgical approach that will most benefit you depends on the cause of your back pain and general health.
After making the incisions in your abdomen or back, your surgeon removes the intervertebral disc between the two vertebrae to be fused. Your provider fills the space with a bone graft and inserts screws and pins to hold it in place.
Following surgery, the graft triggers the growth of healthy bone tissue, causing your vertebrae to fuse together. The fusion process stabilizes your spine and restores your range of motion.
After thoracic fusion surgery, you stay in the hospital for several days. It’s normal to experience pain and discomfort, but your surgeon prescribes medication to relieve it. About a week after the procedure, you return to Coastal Spine to have your stitches removed.
Then, you enroll in physical therapy. It takes six months to a year for your back to fully heal.
Call the nearest Coastal Spine office today to learn more about thoracic fusion, or make your appointment online.