Lumbar Fusion

Sherwin Hua, MD

Neurosurgeon located in the Bay Area, California

Lumbar fusion is a surgical solution for lower back pain that isn’t improving using nonsurgical approaches. If you have chronic low back pain, board-certified neurosurgeon Sherwin Hua, MD, can help. Dr. Hua is a world-renowned pioneer in spine surgery and welcomes patients from throughout the Bay Area to his DimeSpine Neurosurgery practice, which has locations in Campbell, Hayward, San Francisco, and San Jose, California. Dr. Hua provides a comprehensive range of treatments that includes lumbar fusion, using his patented DimeSpine minimally invasive surgical technique. Find out more by calling DimeSpine Neurosurgery today or requesting an appointment online.

Lumbar Fusion Q & A

What is lumbar fusion?

Lumbar fusion is a treatment option for patients who have painful, disabling back problems that aren’t improving using other treatment approaches. Dr. Hua performs lumbar fusion to stabilize the spine when part or all of a vertebral disc or part of the vertebra needs removing or remodeling. 

Back pain often arises from compressed nerves in your spine. These nerves could be getting squeezed because of a herniated disc, where the soft inside of the shock-absorbing discs between the vertebrae ruptures through the outer shell.

Nerve compression can also develop because of pressure on the nerves where they exit the spine through the spaces called the foramen, or by pressure from the top section of the vertebra, which is called the lamina.

There are several approaches to performing lumbar fusion, including through your abdomen (ALIF), side (XLIF), or back (PLIF). Dr. Hua has developed and patented a technique called DimeSpine fusion that uses the most minimally invasive incision for performing spinal fusion. 

What is DimeSpine fusion?

The DimeSpine Fusion technique enables Dr. Hua to carry out both transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) and posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) through incisions that are between 18 and 20 millimeters wide, or the size of a dime or a nickel.

Even for more unstable conditions that require lumbar fusion, like spondylolisthesis, Dr. Hua can still operate using only two of the dime-sized holes. 

Standard lumbar fusion surgeries require incisions of between 7-10 inches, which is more than 10 times the size of Dr. Hua’s DimeSpine fusion incisions. Many surgeons use minimally invasive surgery rather than open surgery wherever possible. However, the most widespread approaches still require six dime-sized incisions to perform lumbar fusion at a single level.

Dr. Hua can perform a full lumbar pedicle screw fusion procedure using just one of his dime-sized holes in most cases, two at the most.

What are the advantages of the DimeSpine fusion technique?

Minimally invasive surgery offers significant advantages over open techniques, including:

  • Less tissue damage
  • Less pain
  • Faster recovery 
  • Faster healing
  • Lower infection rates
  • Smaller scars

These advantages are even more pronounced using the DimeSpine lumbar fusion technique, as the incisions are fewer and smaller than those used in other minimally invasive lumbar fusion techniques.

Using the DimeSpine method, Dr. Hua avoids having to perform a laminectomy to remove the lamina on the top of your vertebra. This preserves the stability and natural movement of your spine.

If you’ve been told you need to undergo lumbar fusion surgery, find out whether you’re a good candidate for the ultimate minimally invasive option, the DimeSpine lumbar fusion technique. Schedule a consultation by calling DimeSpine today, or requesting an appointment online.