I met a man at the airport who couldn't pick up something he dropped on the floor. He said his spine was fused and he couldn't bend over anymore. Why would someone need a spinal fusion?
Pain, dysfunction, and an unstable spine are the usual reasons someone might need a spinal fusion. Severe scoliosis or curvature of the spine may require fusion to hold it in a more upright position. The operation stops motion and stabilizes the spine to give patients pain relief and improve function.

There are many other possible reasons or diagnoses that may warrant fusion. However, experts do advise that spinal fusion is not the answer to every case of chronic low back pain (LBP). Patients with chronic LBP from disc degeneration or spinal stenosis may be good candidates for this operation.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is located. Pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves can occur with spinal stenosis. Rates of spinal fusion have increased over 200 per cent in the last 15 years making this one of the most common operations for chronic LBP.