Interbody spinal fusion enables vertebrae to be fused using a less invasive approach. The procedure relieves compression of intervertebral space and pain from pinched spinal nerves. Usually, the compression is caused by a diseased or herniated disc.
The decision to perform an interbody fusion through 2 small posterior (back side of the body) incisions is based on such factors as the nature, location and extent of the disc or bone injury or disease. After a window is made in the lamina (the arch of bone that covers the spinal canal), the diseased or herniated disc tissue is decompressed and, a small cage filled with bone tissue inserted into the intervertebral space, along with screws and a rod to secure the two vertebrae during the fusion process. Bone growth resulting in fused vertebrae takes place in the months following surgery, as a biological response to the presence of the donor bone.