Imaging of spinal fusion

Author(s): Dr Luigi Pedone, Dr Ian Pressney

Hospital: Fundation Policlinico Agostino Gemelli, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 43, 505, 14-15


Surgical spinal fusion is a procedure where two or more of the vertebrae of the spine are “fused” together in an attempt to achieve solid arthrodesis and to potentially eliminate painful movement or to correct deformity. The purpose of the spinal hardware is to provide additional spinal stability while helping the fusion set up. The first successful surgical fusion procedures were described by Hibbs in 1911 for prevention of progressive deformity from Pott disease.

Spinal fusion surgeries have increased markedly in frequency in recent decades. In fact, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), there has been growth of 70 per cent from 2001.

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