What Is Lumbar Pedicle Screw Fixation?

Pain,Body,Muscles,Stiff,Problem,,Suffer,Asian,Young,Woman,Painful Pedicle screws are the standard technique for fusing the spine. Surgeons attach these screws to the pedicles of two consecutive vertebral segments to secure them to each other. For example, the lumber section of the spine consists of five such segments, designated L1 through L5. Lumbar pedicle screw fixation could therefore use pedicle screws to fuse segments L3 and L4. To understand this better, keep reading.

What Does Lumbar Pedicle Screw Fixation Do?

The goal of lumbar pedicle screw fixation is to resolve the instability of the lumbar spine. Pedicle screws prevent movement in the affected vertebrae, which would otherwise occur during daily activities. These vertebrae will eventually heal and fuse into a single bone. Pedicle screws can also be used to provide dynamic stabilization, meaning the affected vertebrae aren’t fused together. In these cases, the surgeon attaches a spinal implant to the vertebrae, providing the needed support.

What Are Pedicles?

A pedicle is a small portion of bone with a cylindrical shape that protrudes from the back of a vertebra. Each vertebra in the spine has a pair of pedicles, which have two primary functions. Firstly, they protect the sides of the spinal nerves and spinal cord. Secondly, the pedicles connect the front and back of the vertebra, providing the spine with greater stability.

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion prevents spinal instability, which surgeons often perform in conjunction with spinal decompression. Decompression can cause abnormal motion between the affected vertebrae, so fusion may be necessary to provide the spine with additional strength. In addition, spinal fusion can prevent the spine from becoming injured again after lumbar spine surgery.

Who Is a Good Candidate?

A good candidate for this procedure typically includes individuals who have the following conditions:

  • Degenerative disc disease: This is a condition where the intervertebral discs in the spine deteriorate, leading to pain, instability, and potential nerve compression.
  • Spondylolisthesis: A condition where one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it, causing instability and potential nerve compression.
  • Spinal Fractures: Fractures of the lumbar vertebrae, particularly those causing instability, may require surgical stabilization with pedicle screws.
  • Spinal deformities: Conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis, which involve abnormal curvature of the spine, may require surgical correction and stabilization with pedicle screws.
  • Tumors: Spinal tumors, whether primary or metastatic, may necessitate surgical intervention for stabilization and/or tumor removal.
  • Failed previous spinal surgery: Patients who have undergone previous spinal surgery and continue to experience symptoms due to instability or hardware failure may benefit from revision surgery involving pedicle screw fixation.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Lipani at Princeton Neurological Surgery at either of our three locations in New Jersey (Hamilton, Bridgewater, and Morristown) to discuss how lumbar pedicle screw fixation can bring you back to a pain-free life. You can reach his office online or call 609-890-3410.

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