Spinal Fusion Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitors Compensation Claims


If you have been injured in the UK by a healthcare professional including a doctor, dentist, nurse or technician in a surgery, hospital or clinic and would like to speak to a specialist medical negligence solicitor about Spinal Fusion surgery without further obligation, just use the helpline. A medical negligence lawyer who deals exclusively in personal injury claims involving clinical negligence will speak to you, giving free advice and information on how best to preserve your legal right to receive compensation as a result of injuries caused by medical negligence.

Spinal Fusion

The spinal fusion surgery is one that is designed to eliminate motion between two or more vertebrae. Nerves and ligaments aren't stretched when the vertebrae are fused and there is less pain between the arthritic parts of the spine. If the vertebrae don't move, they do not hurt. Sometimes a laminectomy is performed before the fusion. This gives more room to the spinal nerves and the spinal cord before the fusion is done. There will be a decrease in flexibility but it is not a great deal when compared to the flexibility of the whole spine.

There are several different approaches and techniques used to fuse the spine. The doctor can fuse the bones from the front of the abdomen in an anterior lumbar interbody fusion. The doctor can use a posterior approach or from a lateral approach. This is called a posterior lumbar interbody fusion or a posterolateral interbody fusion, depending on the procedure. There are also minimally invasive procedures involving very small incisions to do the fusion. What you get depends on how serious your disease is and on the location.

Spinal infusions always use some type of bone graft that solidifies the fusion. Small sections of bone are placed between the vertebrae that are to be fused. Bone grafts used to always be autografts, which are created from bone harvested from the hip. Now allografts are used, which are less painful. These are harvested from a cadaver source.

Calcium is removed from the cadaver bone to create a demineralized bone matrix or DBM. This changes bone into a putty that can be combined with other graft material to aid in bone healing. Bone forming proteins can be used to help create a solid fusion. These are called bone morphogenetic proteins or BMPs. If a BMP is used, then an autograft may not even be necessary. Ceramics can be used instead of autograft bone. Talk to the surgeon about which procedure is best and safest for you.

You will need to have a brace to keep the back in one place while the bone fuses. The doctor will also use plates and screws or rods to hold the spine still in a process called internal fixation.

Complications can occur with a spinal fusion procedure. These include the following risks:

  • You can get an infection in the bone or at the incision site. Antibiotics are used before and during surgery to prevent infection. Sometimes antibiotics are used after the procedure.
  • There can be excessive bleeding that interferes with healing.
  • There can be pain at the site of the graft. This can be persistent in a small number of people.
  • There can be recurrence of the symptoms that existed before the procedure.
  • A condition called pseudoarthrosis can develop, especially for smokers. It happens when there isn't enough bone formation at the fusion site and you get arthritic symptoms.
  • There can be damage to the nerves and blood vessels around the fusion site.
  • You can get blood clots in the legs that break of and end up in the lungs. When this happens, sudden death is possible.

There are warning signs you need to pay attention to, especially in the immediate post-operative state and for the next few weeks after. These warning signs include swelling in the ankle, calf or foot associated with redness or tenderness just behind the calf and pain in the calf. This can mean you are having a deep vein thrombosis that can break off and lead to thrombosis in the lungs, called a pulmonary embolism. This can block blood flow in the lungs, leading to shortness of breath and sometimes sudden death. If you have any of these lung symptoms, call 911 or try to reach your doctor. You need to be in an emergency room as soon as possible.

Infections can manifest themselves as redness, swelling, or tenderness near the edges of the wound. You might have drainage from the wound, shaking chills, pain and tenderness at the wound site, and a fever of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spinal Fusion Surgery - Medical Negligence Solicitor

Our spinal fusion solicitors operate using the no win no fee** scheme and you will not have to fund or finance your claim in any respect. In the event that the claim is successful the other side will pay our legal charges and if we are not successful you pay nothing at all. You have nothing to lose in taking up our offer of free advice and there is no further obligation should you decide not to pursue a claim further. We offer a true professional risk free service and you will only ever deal with a qualified, specialist medical negligence solicitor who answers to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Do yourself justice and call our offices today.


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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here