My wife is going to have a lumbar spinal fusion with titanium mesh cages. Afterward, she will wear a brace. What’s the brace for and how long is this needed?
Titanium cases are very popular as an implant for lumbar fusion. They are placed in the disk space between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. Screws hold them in place. Studies show that motion still occurs in the spine with these implants. This may be just during the initial healing phase, but more studies are needed to find this out. In the meantime, doctors advise using a brace to prevent too much motion until the fusion takes hold. Bracing to immobilize the spine isn’t used by everyone and there aren’t standard guidelines used by all. Each doctor will make this decision based on the patient, kind of surgery done, condition of the bone, and other factors. The first phase of bone healing takes six to eight weeks. Full spinal fusion takes up to one year. Your wife may expect to wear the brace full-time for the first two months at least. The doctor may reduce wearing time depending on results of X-ray studies. She may be advised to wear it for specific activities or time periods for the next three or four months.