Dr. Jeffrey Johnson has been a board certified, practicing neurosurgeon for over 25 years. In recent years, he has noticed an increasing trend to use hardware in spine surgery. This involves placement of screws, rods, cages, plates and other metal/plastic objects within the spine. These procedures are called lumbar fusions, cervical fusions, SI joint fusions and many others.
When a patient has hardware placed in their spine it decreases their mobility, increases the risks and time of surgery, and causes increased stress on the surrounding segments of the spine. This increased stress can lead to the need for further surgery in the future.
Although it is sometimes necessary to perform fusions in the spine and place hardware, these situations are much more rare than some people believe. At Portland Neurosurgery, we have found great success in relieving patients' symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness with less invasive types of spine surgery. These include lumbar and cervical decompression, microdiscectomy, and laminectomy, among others.
If you are considering permanently altering the natural body mechanics of your spine with a fusion surgery, we would recommend obtaining a second opinion so that you can proceed with confidence that this is the best route for you.