Lumbar Spinal Fusion

Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three months. Chronic low back pain has many causes. They include wear and tear of discs and joints or muscle problems.

Treatment can be by surgery or other. Other treatments include physiotherapy, exercise, pain tablets, and mood and attitude therapy. Surgery includes spinal fusion.

Several studies have compared surgery with other treatments. They looked at pain, muscle strength, function, work and quality of life. There is insufficient evidence to determine how fusion compares with other treatments. No study has told us which patients do better with fusion surgery.

Studies found that the risk of fusion surgery was around 10% (1/10 patients). The risks included: bleeding, infection, blood clots, nerve damage, lung and heart complications.

Lumbar spinal fusion: Full report PDF, 0.36MB