Advances Revolutionize Spinal Fusion Surgery

Two ValleyCare surgeons, Drs. Joseph Grant and Kevin Booth were recently the first in California to use genetically engineered bone protein in laparoscopic spinal fusion surgery.

More than a quarter million Americans require surgery every year for debilitating lower back pain. Spinal Fusion surgery is often the only effective procedure for treating spinal degenerative disc disease that puts pressure on the spinal cord causing severe pain. The traditional method is to remove the disc material and insert a metal bone “cage” between the vertebrae. Bone chips are harvested from the patient’s hip and inserted into the metal cage. The bone eventually causes the vertebrae to fuse, which stabilizes the spine.

“The problem with the traditional procedure is that the patient must undergo two surgeries, one for the spine and one for the hip,” said ValleyCare spine surgeon Joseph Grant, M.D. “Patients may be relieved of their back pain, but many end up with chronic hip pain.”

- Health Ways, 2002