Spinal degeneration occurs as a natural part of the aging process and can cause areas of the vertebrae to weaken and become unstable and nerve roots to become pinched. When this occurs, the vertebrae can be healed (fused) together in order to restrict movement. This is called a spinal fusion, and it’s considered one of the most traditional forms of spinal surgery to help stabilize the back and reduce pain.

Get in touch with a back surgeon in Illinois to see if a spinal fusion is right for you.


Reasons for Spinal Fusion Surgery

More than 250,000 lower back, or lumbar, spinal fusion surgeries are performed annually in the United States to treat conditions involving back pain caused by spinal degeneration. Some of the conditions that may contribute to spinal degeneration include:

  • Spondylolisthesis – occurs when a vertebrae slips forward over the vertebrae below
  • Spinal fractures – occurs because of osteoporosis
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis – involves overgrown bone and tissue pressing on nerves in the spinal column
  • Degenerative disc disease – occurs because of the gradual wear and tear on spinal discs due to aging

The Spinal Fusion Procedure

During spinal fusion surgery, two or more adjacent spinal vertebrae are fused, or healed, together to restrict movement and decrease the pain caused by instability. The surgeon will typically use metal implants such as pedicle screws and rods that provide a source of bracing and support to immobilize the diseased vertebrae. Additionally, the surgeon will implant a substance called bone graft at the fusion site to help promote the growth of new bone, which fuses the vertebrae together.

For more advanced cases of spinal degeneration, the surgeon may need to implant an interbody device between the vertebrae. The interbody device provides a greater level of stability to the area as the spinal fusion takes hold. Interbody devices restore spacing between the vertebrae and serve as a holding chamber for a substance called bone graft that helps the body create new bone.


Contact Our Orthopaedic Surgeons | The Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois

One of our orthopaedic surgeons in Illinois can help you determine if spinal fusion or another type of back and spine surgery is right for you. Contact us or call any of our locations below:


Back and Spine

Other Surgery Services

Additional surgery services we offer for back and spine issues.

Our Back and Spine Team

Providers specializing in this practice area.

Treatment Locations

Visit these facilities for back and spine care.

  • The Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois

    Herrin, IL

  • OISI – Carbondale

    Carbondale, IL

  • Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center (SIOC)

    Herrin, IL

  • Heartland Regional Medical Center

    Marion, IL

  • SIH – Herrin Hospital

    Herrin, IL

  • SIH – Memorial Hospital of Carbondale

    Carbondale, IL

COVID-19 Precautions

We at Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois are committed to continuing to provide the highest quality and safest orthopaedic care to the people of Southern Illinois.

In the interest of protecting our patients and employees, we have instituted the following procedures:

All patients will be screened according to CDC recommendations via telephone prior to their scheduled appointment date. These recommendations include screening for a fever, cough, shortness of breath. Upon arriving at any of our facilities, all people will be screen upon arrival.

We will not be allowing any visitors to accompany patients with the exception of a single parent accompanying a minor or a designated caregiver accompanying an impaired adult.

At this time, we will continue to provide full physician services in the office as well as physical and occupational therapy, imaging, pain management, and Urgent Care services for your urgent orthopaedic needs.

We are working closely with our hospital partners for the continued provision of urgent and emergent orthopaedic care.

Please remember to stay calm, stay smart, and if you are feeling ill, stay home.

Thank you,
The Physicians and Staff of Orthopaedic Institute of Southern Illinois.

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