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Spinal Fusion Specialist

Itay Melamed, MD -  - Neurosurgeon

Advanced Brain & Spine

Itay Melamed, MD

Neurosurgeon located in Centennial, CO & Wheat Ridge, CO

Whether you have degenerative arthritis in your backbone or your spinal column is unstable following a traumatic injury, you may be a candidate for spinal fusion. This innovative surgery can address a variety of painful spine conditions by permanently connecting two or more vertebrae and stopping the motion between them. Dr. Itay Melamed of Advanced Brain & Spine, with locations in Centennial and Wheat Ridge, Colorado, offers minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery for Denver-area patients with persistent spine problems. Call or book your appointment online today.

Spinal Fusion Q&A

What is spinal fusion surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is used to permanently join two or more of the vertebrae in your spine so there can no longer be any movement between them. The techniques used to perform the surgery are designed to imitate the natural healing process of broken bones.

During the procedure, Dr. Melamed inserts bone or a bone-like material within the space between the two spinal vertebrae that are being joined together. Metal plates, screws, and rods help hold everything in place, and over time, the vertebrae heal and fuse into a single unit.

Although spinal fusion can alleviate pain and treat a wide range of spine-related issues, it effectively immobilizes part of your spine and changes the way your spine is able to move.  

What conditions can spinal fusion treat?

Spinal fusion is generally done for one of the following three reasons:

  • To improve spinal stability
  • To correct a spinal deformity
  • To reduce spine-related pain

Although spinal fusion is often considered a last-resort treatment for many disorders, it’s a safe and effective way to address a variety of persistent spine problems, including:

Broken vertebrae

Although many broken vertebrae heal on their own and don’t require surgery, broken vertebrae that make your spine less stable may eventually benefit most from spinal fusion.

Spinal instability

Severe arthritis in the spine can cause excessive motion between vertebrae, which can eventually lead to spinal instability. Likewise, the removal of a damaged spinal disc can cause similar vertebral movement and instability. Spinal fusion can help correct both of these problems.

Spinal deformities

Spinal fusion can help correct many deformities, including scoliosis, or the sideways curvature of the spine. It can also be used to correct kyphosis, or the abnormal rounding of the upper spine.

Other conditions

At Advanced Brain & Spine, Dr. Melamed also offers sacroiliac joint fusions for the 10-20% of chronic back pain patients affected by sacroiliac joint disease.

What does the procedure entail?

Spinal fusion surgery is done under general anesthesia. Dr. Melamed performs minimally invasive spinal fusions using endoscopic techniques. Depending on the part of your spine that’s being fused, you may lie on your back, your side, or face-down.

After making a small incision, Dr. Melamed uses tubular retractors to gently separate and hold the soft tissues and blood vessels apart as he works. He also uses an endoscope to help guide the bone or graft material into place and fix it with a plate and screws.

The entire surgery takes three to four hours.

Click here to watch a video of the procedure.

Click here to watch an educational video about the Sacroiliac joint.

Please note, that Advanced Brain and Spine practice is not currently accepting new patients at this time. Thank you for your understanding and apologies for any inconvenience.