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Side Effects Of Anterior Fusion

by:  in Category : Common Health Issues

20 April, 2012

Views : 477 views

Side Effects Of Anterior FusionAnterior fusion is an operative intervention for rectifying back problems which involve spinal stabilization by the use of metallic rod/screw/cage as well as bone grafts for bonding, joining or fusing together a single or more bones (vertebrae) in the spinal column.

Fusion surgery is recommended for treatment of pains that arise when the disks lying between the bones or vertebrae degenerate or suffer a fracture. The disks basically have a cushioning effect in between the bones and help us bend and rotate our back as well as neck.

Other reasons for surgery are excessive inter-vertebral movements, agonizing spine problem, disk hernia or rectifying deformities. During anterior cervical fusion surgical procedure the physician makes a slit in frontal area of the throat. In case of anterior lumbar fusion surgery the approach is via the abdominal area.

In this manner access to the vertebral space is directly possible for the specialist. Subsequently, the damage-ridden disc in between the vertebrae is removed and then welded together with bone grafting.

Side Effects of Anterior Fusion

There are several likely side effects of anterior fusion procedure which include:


It is a condition wherein the vein in the spot where the thrombus or blood clot developed becomes inflamed or swollen. Blood clots could form in the arms or legs causing edema and pains. It could hinder blood flow to the area where it normally goes.

There is a likelihood of the clot dislodging and charting its course to the lung causing pains in the chest (angina), respiratory distress and coughing. When it reaches the brain it could lead to stroke which can be dangerous.

Surgical Site Infection

The operated individual might develop an infection superficially where he/she was incised or infection at the location of bone grafting too might be contracted. While recuperating from surgery one might abruptly sense malaise, exhaustion and lethargy which can occur when infection is spreading through the body.

Side Effects Of Anterior Fusion

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Pyrexia or fever over 38 degrees Celsius is oftentimes felt along with chills, decrease in appetite and headaches. When an infection develops at the incised site then it might feel hot when touched, hardening/ swelling/ puffiness noticed in the subcutaneous tissue of the incision.

Pus (greenish or reddish) that smells appalling might be discharged from the infection-ridden site and augmented pain could also be experienced. Antibiotic course is recommended for people who develop surgical site infection.

Pseudo Arthritis

This condition can occur when the operated person starts experiencing acute pains, warmth or inflammation in the joints as a result of pseudo arthritis. This is a complication of a fusion attempt when proper healing failed to occur.

Pseudo arthritis is treated by grafting additional bone to the fusion or substituting with metallic hardware deployed at the time of the operation.

Lack of sensation or pains felt along the nerve path

The person could become paralyzed or experience total loss of muscle functioning for a single or more muscle groups due to some damage caused to the spinal cord and unremitting pains.

The rigid tissue encasing the spinal cord can suffer damage which might lead to fluid seeping from within. Other issues faced are incontinence wherein the individual is no longer able to control bladder/bowel motions.

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