Continuously seeking new techniques for treatment.Lumbar fusion often is indicated when there is abnormal spinal motion, which precludes lumbar decompression or artificial disc replacement procedures. Lumbar fusion usually does a good job of relieving symptoms, but may increase the rate of adjacent level disease. Some biomechanical studies may indicate that motion segments above and below an immobile (fused) segment develop increased stress and degeneration. This causes patients to be concerned about needing more surgery above and/or below their fusion surgery later. (It should be noted that other studies suggest adjacent levels degenerate from natural arthritis and irrespective of fusion).
Lumbar fusion, by definition, “fuses” spine bones together and potentially can limit a patient’s range of motion. Patients can still move their spines at other spine levels, so not all patients notice a decrease in range of motion.
To limit the adjacent level disease, but still stabilize the lumbar level without fusing it, dynamic stabilization was developed. This technology has been present since the mid-1990’s.