Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion

Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion Procedure

A lumbar corpectomy and fusion procedure can relieve pain associated with infection, fractures, degenerative disc disease, tumors, and other conditions that jeopardize the integrity of one or more spinal discs. Most patients who undergo lumbar corpectomy and fusion surgery at Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic can return to their normal activities once they have fully healed.

How to Prepare for Your Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion Procedure

Before the surgery, you can clean the surgical site with antiseptic soap. If you are taking any medications, be sure to tell Dr. Lewis about them. You may need to stop taking them prior to the surgery.

What to Expect from Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion Surgery

The procedure involves the following steps:

  • Incision: Dr. Lewis will make an incision to access the vertebrae that will be fused. The incision could occur on your back or neck over the spine or on either side of the spine. Sometimes, the incision occurs on the abdomen or throat if Dr. Lewis needs access to the front of your spine.
  • Bone graft: Bone grafts may be harvested from your body, typically from the pelvis, or harvested from a bone bank. If the bone graft comes from your pelvis, your surgeon will make an incision above the pelvic bone to retrieve a small portion of the bone.
  • Fusion: Dr. Lewis inserts the bone graft between the damaged vertebrae. If necessary, he installs screws, metal plates, and rods to hold the vertebrae in place during the healing process.

Risks Associated with Lumbar Corpectomy and Fusion

Spinal fusion is a routine procedure. However, as with any spinal surgery, complications may occur. Lumbar corpectomy is a rare operation for cancer or infection and occasionally trauma. Recovery is faster through a minimally invasive lateral approach. The hospital stay is generally 1-2 days.

The most common risks associated with lumbar corpectomy and fusion surgery include the following:

  • Infection at the incision or fusion site
  • Poor wound healing
  • Pain at the bone graft site
  • Damage to nerves and other structures surrounding the spine
  • Bleeding and blood clots

If you experience severe pain or discomfort following the procedure, contact Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic for further instructions.

Post-operative Care and Considerations

You can expect to go home within four to seven days following the procedure. Dr. Lewis and other medical professionals provide information on how to transfer in and out of bed and to begin walking independently again. Avoid certain movements such as bending from the waist, lifting weight, or twisting your back following the operation.

Additionally, you may receive a brace or corset to help restrict movement. Most patients do not wear a back brace following a lumbar corpectomy and fusion procedure. Sometimes, however, patients require a lumbar corset to support the spine while they heal.

It’s important to follow instructions for wound care to avoid infection and other complications. Keep the wound covered with gauze secured with tape, and closely follow the instructions we provide for changing the bandage. Typically, the dressing should be changed every day or two, especially after you take a shower.

Contact the Jackson Neurosurgery Clinic for more information about the lumber corpectomy and fusion procedure. Call us at (601) 366-1011 to make an appointment. We’ll find a solution that works for you.