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Discover The Real Truth Behind Spinal Fusions…

Authored by Dr. Colin Haines, MD. July 7, 2017

So your doctor has recommended a spinal fusion — what does that mean?  Many people subscribe to the antiquated thought that fusion surgeries are accompanied with long recovery times and pain after surgery. This is no longer true! Join the 21st century and learn about Virginia Spine Institute’s advanced minimally invasive surgeries that reduce recovery time and post-operative pain.


Spinal fusion involves using a type of implant {metal, plastic, bone} to hold two bones of the spine together, and bone graft to weld the bones to one another.  Once this process occurs, those two bones are now welded into one solid piece (a fusion) and that level of the spine will be unable to move again. This may seem intimidating at first, but spinal fusions are a great way to treat instability in the back or to realign an individual’s spine. There are many ways to perform a spinal fusion, but not all spinal fusions are created equal!


Traditionally, spinal fusions involved making very large incisions in the back, cutting muscles and tendon, removing bone, and looking directly at the spine to place screws and rods. This is not the ideal method as it leads to a greater risk for radiation exposure, infection, and often times results in a painful recovery. This method may be necessary in extreme situations.


Our Spinal Specialists develop and implement the latest surgical techniques using the most advanced technology to perform minimally invasive spinal fusions. Fusions can now be performed by spreading the muscle, rather than cutting it. This method avoids muscle damage, reducing post-surgical pain and risk of infection.

Examples of muscle spreading fusions performed by Virginia Spine Institute include anterior lumbar interbody fusion and lateral interbody fusions. These procedures involve removing your damaged disc, re-aligning your spine into its proper orientation, and joining the bones together.  In addition, spine screws and rods may be placed using very small incisions with the assistance of robotic technology.

Don’t fall prey to traditional fears concerning spinal fusions – spine surgery has advanced leaps and bounds within the last decade. As a patient, it is important that you are cared for by a surgeon who is an expert in all modern spine advancements like the specialists at Virginia Spine Institute. Get back to a pain-free life faster! Schedule an initial consultation today or call us at 703.552.5029.

Dr. Colin Haines is a board certified spine surgeon and the Director of Research at Virginia Spine Institute. Dr. Haines performed the world’s first combined endoscopic and robot-guided spine surgery. His patient success has earned him a national feature on The Today Show and WebMD, and Top Doctor recognition in consecutive years. Learn more about Dr. Haines.

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About The Author

Dr. Colin Haines, MD

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