Spinal Fusion after an Accident

Spinal Fusion after an Accident

Car accidents and workers compensation injuries may be more common than you believe. When they do occur, they can be devastating and significantly frightening. Dealing with the legal and monetary issues is one thing, however, the physical injury can be the most overwhelming aspect. Two of the most commonly injured areas involve the lower back and neck. While an injury in this region may be a simple sprain or strain, occasionally the injury can be more severe. In the event the injury is so severe that you cannot recover without surgery, one type of surgical intervention is called a fusion. In the upcoming paragraphs, I will discuss the reasoning behind fusions and the procedure itself, as well as the rehabilitation process here at the Injury Care Center.

Any spinal surgery is a daunting experience to consider. A spinal fusion involves joining two or more spinal vertebrae at any level that prevents movement between the vertebrae. This surgery is performed for a variety of reasons, but most often, it involves the need to relieve pressure and symptoms involving the spinal nerves. If an individual is experiencing severe radiating symptoms, such as pain, numbness, tingling, electric shocks, or weakness, a fusion may be considered pending the spine’s appearance. Once a fusion is performed, you will need rehabilitation that will address various aspects of recovery, such as flexibility, strength, and pain.

At the Injury Care Center, we pride ourselves in being able to provide all aspects of care. We have a comprehensive approach treatment that includes the following: – Physician visit day one to include a detailed examination post-operatively and appropriate prescription of both physical rehabilitation and medication pending presentation. – Referral services to pain management, orthopedic, neurological, psychological, and various other experts pending each individual presentation. – Land and aquatic rehabilitation to address muscle weakness, flexibility deficits, balance deficits, deconditioning, and pain. – Chiropractic services to address joint dysfunction, pain, and muscle inhibition. You may be wondering what type of rehabilitation you may experience during your recovery. Should your physician recommend a fusion of the spine, we at the Injury Care Center will assist you in each and every step to recovery. In the next several paragraphs I will outline some key exercises that may be used during your recovery.

The first thing we will address will be pain levels. In order to do this, we may use what are called modalities. These modalities may include ice, moist heat, TENS, ultrasound, and cold laser. Ice may be used to decrease swelling and pain. Moist heat may be used to decrease tightness in the muscle in the neck or low back following a fusion. TENS is a device that is used to decrease pain, and it can be used in conjunction with ice or heat. It can also be used individually to address pain levels. The next thing we would address would be any flexibility deficits or impairments we might find post fusion of the cervical or lumbar spine. For a cervical fusion, stretching the front of the chest, or the pectoralis muscles, may be beneficial to help restore proper posture. This can be done in several ways, but one common way to stretch these muscles will be what is called a “doorway stretch”. Your rehabilitation expert will explain how to perform this stretch should they find it will assist you in your recovery. For a lumbar fusion, we may want to address your hamstring flexibility or hip flexor flexibility. Both of the exercises can be performed in several ways, and also aid in restoring proper posture. Following flexibility training, core and extremity strengthening may occur.

One exercise that may be prescribed to you after a lumbar fusion would be a bridge. This is a simple core and lower extremity exercise that is typically performed laying down. Post cervical fusion, a rehabilitation expert may instruct you to perform a scapular retraction or a row. This is done to improve your postural muscle strength and improve your posture. All of these exercises are just simple examples of what may be included in your comprehensive program. Each individual will have a tailored program depending on the impairments or weaknesses they may have post injury.

A fusion is a surgery that can involve multiple vertebrae which would indicate how aggressive your rehabilitation may be. Post fusion for cervical or lumbar spine, your recovery process may begin about six weeks after surgical intervention. The rehabilitation process can last several months; however, each case is individual, and will be treated as such. While the decision to have surgery on your spine may be intimidating, choosing the Injury Care Center as your rehabilitation center, should not be. We look forward to assisting with your recovery process!

Karl Russo


If you would like us to evaluate your injury, please call: 877-444-2422.

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Injury Care Center
901 W. Ashland Avenue
Glenolden, Pa 19036
Phone: 610-461-6522
Injury Care Center
1502 Upland Street
Chester, Pa 19013
Injury Care Center
3300 Grant Avenue
Suite #20
Philadelphia, PA 19114