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spinal fusion

n. correction of an unstable part of the spine by joining two or more vertebrae; usually done surgically but sometimes done by traction or immobilization [syn: fusion]

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion, also called spondylodesis or spondylosyndesis, is a neurosurgical or orthopedic surgical technique that joins two or more vertebrae. Surgeons use supplementary bone tissue—either from the patient ( autograft) or a donor ( allograft)—or artificial bone substitutes in conjunction with the body's natural bone growth ( osteoblastic) processes to fuse two or more adjoining vertebrae.

Spinal fusion treats a variety of pathological conditions to eliminate abnormal motion of the vertebrae that causes pain, neurological deficit, or spinal deformity. Common conditions incorporating spinal fusion in their surgical treatment are spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, cervical discopathy, spinal fractures, scoliosis, and kyphosis.