Spinal fusion is a surgical technique that fuses affected vertebrae together in order to stop the motion at a painful segment. Fusing the vertebrae may be recommended in cases such as fractures and severe deformities and slippages. Spinal instrumentation or hardware is commonly placed at the same time to hold the vertebrae in place until the fusion occurs.
Fusion surgery involves adding a special bone graft to affected segments and provoking a biological response that will cause the graft to heal between the vertebrae over typically 9-12 months, fusing them together and halting the motion at that joint segment.
Other conditions where fusion may be indicated include severe spinal instability that is causing excessive motion between two vertebrae, spondylolisthesis (slippage between vertebrae ), cervical disc herniations, and other conditions that cause extreme pain.