A main goal of spinal surgery is to stop the pain caused by joints that have worn out over time or degenerated due to disease. Spinal fusion is one of the most reliable ways to reduce spinal pain. Spinal fusion joins together the vertebrae on either side of a joint in your spine, allowing the two bones to grow together into one and stopping the motion that is causing pain. Use of pedicle screws and rods is one method doctors have of fusing the vertebrae in your spine.
A combination of metal screws and rods (hardware) creates a solid “brace” that holds your vertebrae in place. These devices are intended to stop movement from occurring between your vertebrae. Pedicle screws and rods give more stability to the fusion site and enable you to get out of bed much sooner after spinal fusion surgery.
Special screws called “pedicle screws” are placed through the pedicle bone on the back of the spinal column. The screw inserts through the pedicle and into the vertebral body, one on each side. The screws grab into the bone of the vertebral body, giving them a good solid hold on the vertebra.
Once the screws are placed they are attached to metal rods that connect all the screws together. When everything is bolted together and tightened, this creates a stiff metal frame that holds your vertebrae still so that healing can occur. Bone graft is then placed around the back of the vertebrae.