The provider performs arthrodesis, also known as spinal fusion, in the upper or lower back, to permanently join two vertebrae, the interlocking bones of the spine. He accesses the vertebra in a lateral extracavitary approach to obtain a wider view. He removes some of the cartilage cushion, or disk material, from between the vertebrae to prepare the bony surfaces for fusion. The procedure helps to alleviate persistent pain caused by various spinal conditions, including herniated, or bulging, intervertebral disks, narrowing of the spinal canal, or spinal injuries. He performs this procedure on an additional vertebra after performing the procedure on one or more vertebrae in the upper or lower back.
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