Spinal instrumentation refers to different types of devices and implants used during spine surgery. When spinal instrumentation is used during spine surgery, the goal is to stabilize the spine in order to prevent motion while fusion occurs between two or more vertebrae.
Spinal instrumentation has been categorized into five functional types: Distraction and compression, segmental stabilization, coupled or derotation systems, translational or pedicle screw systems, and anterior instrumentation.
The instruments are generally made of titanium, stainless steel, or cobalt chrome. Screws or hooks are inserted into the weakened vertebrae, as well as into adjacent healthy vertebrae. The screws or hooks serve as strong anchors to the spine.
Spinal fusion is surgery to permanently connect two or more vertebrae in your spine, eliminating motion between them. Spinal fusion involves techniques designed to mimic the normal healing process of broken bones.
Back surgery might be an option if conservative treatments haven't worked and your pain is persistent and disabling. Back surgery often more predictably relieves associated pain or numbness that goes down one or both arms or legs. These symptoms often are caused by compressed nerves in your spine.
Five basic instrument categories are generally used for all spinal surgeries: retractors, periosteal elevators, rongeurs, nerve hooks, and curettes.