Arthrodesis, more commonly known as “spinal fusion,” is a procedure that is very common in modern spine surgery. The goal of spinal fusion is to create a single, fixed spinal segment from one or more mobile spinal segments.
It is helpful to think of symptoms of spine disease in 2 categories: Extremity-predominant pain and spine-predominant pain. Greater than 90% of all spine patients present to my clinic with either one (or sometimes both) of these complaints.
Have you ever had a friend or loved one tell you “I’ve had 7 spine surgeries, and I’m worse off now than I was before surgery!” How can this possibly happen? Surgery is supposed to relieve suffering, not worsen it! Every week in my clinic I see patients who are very tentative about spine surgery for this very reason. A clear understanding of why spine surgeries fail often sets their mind at ease.