Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is a surgery that joins (fuses) two or more vertebrae together. Vertebrae are the 33 interlocking bones of the spinal column that are stacked on top of each other.

Different methods of performing spinal fusion may include:

  • Using bone that is harvested from elsewhere in the body or is obtained from a bone bank to make a "bridge" between adjoining vertebrae. This graft of bone stimulates the growth of new bone.
  • Securing metal implants to the vertebrae to hold them together until new bone grows between the vertebrae.

These procedures have high complication rates.

The medical term for spinal fusion is arthrodesis.

Last Updated: February 17, 2010

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.