The aim of the procedure is to free up the nerve (nerve decompression) by removing the part of the disc that has moved and is compressing the nerve. An operation of this kind enables symptoms in the lower limbs to be reduced. Under general anaesthesia and using a microsurgical technique, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin of the back to release the nerve. 


Spondylodesis is a surgical procedure that involves removing the degenerative disc, then strengthening the spinal column with various types of implants and bone grafts to decompress the nerves. The most common approach for the operation involves passing between the peritoneum (membrane surrounding the intestines) and the abdominal wall to reach the spinal column.

Once the defective intervertebral space has been located, the disc is removed. Implants (disc prosthesis, screws, plates, interbody cages) provide an immediate fixation, allowing the bone to slowly grow back around them. The aim of the implants is to also correct any imbalances in the spine by restoring a normal disc height. The bone used for the graft is most commonly taken from the pelvis.   

The wound is closed, often leaving a drain in place via a plastic tube connected to a bottle that sucks away the blood, which will be removed 1 to 2 days after the procedure. After the operation, the patient can move again after a period of 24-48 hours. In some cases, it is necessary to wear a corset for several weeks or months until the bone graft has consolidated. The time spent in the hospital will vary between 2 and 7 days.

The fusion process takes time. During this recovery time, the spinal column should be kept in proper alignment, following the doctor’s recommendations. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following the advice of the medical team will significantly improve the chances of success.