Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

Last Modified: November 18, 2020  |   Created on: August 7, 2018
Spine

How Much Does Spinal Fusion Surgery Cost in India?

Spinal fusion surgery cost in India starts from $5,000.

Spinal Fusion Surgery PriceNo. of TravelersDays in HospitalTotal Days in India
USD 5,000247

This cost could vary on various factors such as:

  • Type of spinal fusion technique used. The techniques vary depending upon the level of the spine, which includes surgery on the cervical spine, thoracic spine and lumbar spine.
  • Surgeon experience
  • The total cost of spinal fusion surgery in India primarily depends upon the type of package you choose. These include costs of medications, medical supplies, operating room services, room and board expenses, recovery room expenses, hospitals and imaging charges, physical therapy expenses and charges of surgeons.

When it comes to choosing a country that offers reasonable spinal fusion treatment cost India is the choice. The cost difference is distinctly huge when compared to the hospitals in any other medically advanced country, including the US, UK, UAE and Singapore.

Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

The cost of spinal fusion surgery in different countries is summarized in the table below:

Country India Malaysia Mexico Turkey Singapore Thailand USA
Cost (USD) $5,000 $9,100 $12,000 $10,000 $8,200 $9,100 $31,000

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Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

spinal fusion treatment

Spinal fusion problems are widely treated in India. In the past one decade, patients from foreign lands have been looking forward to treatment options in India because of competitive infrastructure and lower cost of the surgery as compared to the UK and the US hospitals, among others.

The best spine surgeons in India are highly skilled and adequately trained from the top hospitals and medical colleges abroad, especially from the medically advanced countries. In addition, they have comprehensive experience in handling complicated cases related to spine injury and spinal fusion surgery conducted to provide relief from spine pain.

The other terms associated with spinal fusion are spondylosyndesis and spondylodesis, which are medical conditions described by excruciating pain or pressure in the spinal cord. These conditions are treated by joining or fusing two or more vertebrae. Spinal fusion is an orthopedic or neurosurgical procedure that can be performed at several levels of the spine such as lumbar, thoracic or cervical.

The cartilage present in between two discs in the spinal cord wears out due to ageing, extreme physical activity and others. Bone grafting, a special spinal fusion technique, is used from the donor (allograft), patient (autograft) or artificial bone substitutes.

It should, however, be remembered that the cost of the treatment varies depending upon the type of surgery, complications, the type of medical institution and the overall health condition of the patient.

The best hospitals for spinal fusion surgery in India are equipped with all the modern facilities, technology and tools required to conduct the procedure successfully. In addition, the hospitals have modular operation theatres and intensive care units (ICUs) and emergency services that help deliver quality medical care to patients around the clock. The patients are typically required to stay in the hospital for at least five to seven days for recovery after spinal fusion surgery.

Causes of Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery is performed to stabilise and decompress the spine. There are several factors that may lead to pressure on the spinal nerves and cord. Some of the common reasons include the following:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Disc herniation
  • Trauma
  • Stenosis
  • Spinal tumours
  • Thickened ligaments or bone growth (osteophytes)
  • Increased motion or stress

In comparison to thoracic fusion, the most commonly performed spinal fusions are cervical and lumbar spinal fusions. Since the thoracic spine stays mostly immobile, most fusions are done due to deformities and trauma such as Kyphosis and Scoliosis. A neurosurgeon determines the need of the surgery in the following conditions:

Spinal fusion surgery is performed to stabilize and decompress the spine. There are several factors that may lead to pressure on the spinal nerves and cord. Some of the common reasons include the following:

  • Scoliosis
  • Discogenic pain
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal tumour
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Kyphosis
  • Posterior rami syndrome
  • Spondylosis
  • Vertebral fracture
  • Conditions that trigger instability of the spine
  • Other types of degenerative spinal conditions

Why is spinal fusion performed?

This surgery involves elimination of tissues or bones that are exerting pressure on the spinal canal and narrowing the spinal nerves or spinal cords. This surgery is often treated as a follow-up surgery for treating problems such as herniated discs, tumours, infections and spinal stenosis.

Initially, this procedure was introduced to treat fractures, but now the concept has become broader and is now used for treating age-related spinal stenosis and spinal problems. The potential reasons why spinal fusion is highly recommended include correction of deformity, treatment of fractured bone, evading pain arising from painful motion, treatment of cervical disc herniations and treatment of instability.

Types of spinal fusion surgery

A spinal fusion works by fusing 2 or more of the intervertebral bones in the spine together. The fusion of bones with bones grafts with or without the instruments helps limit the movement of the spine. The aim of this is to provide relief from the pain and other symptoms of the medical condition. Depending on the underlying problem, the doctor will determine which bones of the spine and the number of bones are to be fused.

The type of spinal fusion depends on the part of the bone to be fused:

  • Cervical fusion: vertebrae in the neck
  • Thoracic fusion: vertebrae in the mid-back
  • lumbar fusion: vertebrae in the lower back

Minimally invasive spine fusion is the advanced form of fusion surgery in which the doctor uses smaller incisions to access the spine. There are different types of minimally invasive spinal fusion surgeries based on the technique used to perform them.

Spinal fusion techniques are varied and each technique depends upon the location of compressed spinal nerves or cord and the level of the spine. Minimally invasive spinal fusion is used nowadays that involve lesser complications than traditional technique. After the spine is decompressed, artificial bone substitute or bone grafting is required between the vertebrae for quick healing.

Hospitals with the latest technology use advanced techniques these days, which include image-guiding systems combined with instrumented fusions. During spinal fusion operation, screws or rods are inserted into the patient’s spine by creating small incisions through the skin. The procedure enables less blood loss, lesser muscle damage, lower pain and infections and quick recovery.

How can Lyfboat assist you getting Spinal Fusion Surgery in India?

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Lyfboat is a free advisory platform; we do not charge any fees from patients. In fact, we negotiate the price that Indian hospitals offer. In some cases we are able to reduce the cost by negotiating upto 20% of what Hospitals generally offer. We advise the best treatment from the top hospital/surgeon at best price.

Three Types of Spinal Fusion Techniques in India

Cervical Spine

Cervical Spine:

Cervical spine fusion includes anterior cervical fusion and corpectomy, anterior cervical fusion and discectomy and posterior cervical fusion and decompression.

Thoracic Spine

Thoracic Spine:

The condition is treated by anterior fusion and decompression and posterior fusion. Different types of instruments are used to fuse the thoracic spine, which includes pedicle screw-rod systems, sublaminar wiring, transverse process hooks and vertebral body plate system.

Lumbar Spine

Lumbar Spine:

Two types of fusions are performed in this category – interbody fusion and posterolateral fusion. In the case of the former, the intervertebral disc situated between the vertebrae are removed and bone grafted in the space. A titanium or plastic is positioned between the vertebrae to ensure disc height and spine alignment.

Posterolateral fusion, on the other hand, is placed at the back of the spine between the transverse process. Wires and screws are used to fixed the vertebrates in place through the pedicles present in each vertebra. A metal rod is positioned on either side of the vertebrae for support.

The rate at which patients lose their weight varies from one patient to another. Some patients may lose their weight quickly, while others lose it over a period of one to two years.

Procedure for spinal fusion surgery

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and the patient remains asleep during the procedure. An orthopedic surgeon, or sometimes a neurosurgeon, will determine the type and technique of the surgery based on the individual case.

However, a spinal fusion procedure generally involves the following steps:

Incision: The spine surgeon will make a cut on the back to gain access to the vertebrae that has to be fused. The incision can be made on one of three locations: neck, back – directly over the spine and on either side of the spine, or the abdomen – to access the spine from the front. The length of the incision depends on the number of bones to be fused and technique (minimally invasive surgery involves smaller incision in comparison to open surgery). The choice of incision position also depends on the condition to be treated.

Bone graft: The bone grafts are material used to fuse the two vertebrae together. A small piece of bone is placed in the space between the vertebrae to be fused together. This promotes healing and help the bones fuse together to form a solid bone. The graft may come from a bone bank (allograft) or from the patient’s own body (autograft), usually from the pelvic bone. In case of autograft, the surgeon extracts a small part of pelvic by making an incision above the pelvic region during the fusion surgery only (additional procedure not required).

Sometimes, the surgeon may use a synthetic substance instead of bone grafts for the surgery. These artificial substances can help promote bone growth and fasten the fusion speed. There are several artificial bone graft materials available for the surgery, including:

Synthetic bone grafts: These grafts are often known as ceramic grafts as they are made of calcium or phosphate materials. Synthetic bone graft are similar to autograft bone in terms of shape and consistency.

Demineralized bone matrices (DBMs): These are allograft bones in which the calcium is removed from cadaver bone. The demineralized bone can be changed and transformed into a putty to have gel-like consistency. These are usually combined with other grafts for the surgery.

Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs): These materials are synthetic bone-forming proteins that are used to promote a solid fusion between the bones. BMPs are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in spine fusion in certain condition. Also, when BMPs are used autografts may not be needed.

Fusion can be done with or without instrumentation. As the bone graft takes time to fuse the bone completely, most spinal fusion are done with instrumentation. This includes the use of metal plates, screws or rods to hold the vertebrae together while the bone graft heals. These are usually made of titanium and are place in a way to keep the spine stable.

Sometimes, a cervical spinal fusion may be performed without plates and screws or instrumentation. In these fusions, only the bone graft is used to join the bones together and nothing else is added with the bone graft material. It is typically when a person is having a cervical discectomy and fusion.

Techniques/ Approaches for Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

There are several types of techniques and surgical approaches available to fuse the spine. They all involve insertion of a bone graft between the spinal vertebrae, but their approach to access the spine can be different. The spine can be approached for the graft placement from the back (posterior approach), from the front (anterior approach) or the surgeon may use a combination of these both. Anterior approach is more often used for neck, while posterior method is commonly used for lumbar and thoracic fusion.

Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) The surgery is preformed through the back (lower back) while the patient is lying on their front side. The surgeon removes the diseased disc between the two vertebrae and place the bone graft into the space created between them.

Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) The surgery is similar to PLIF but is performed through the front side, i.e. by making incision on the abdomen. In this, the disc between two vertebrae are removed and bone graft is inserted into the space created between the vertebrae.

Sometimes, anterior/posterior lumbar fusion procedure is done in which both the front and back of the spine will be fused. It is usually recommended for patients with a higher level of spinal instability, such as fractures, or in case of revision surgery (if the initial surgery did not work). However, some orthopedic or spine surgeon may prefer the anterior/posterior fusion surgery as a primary surgical technique. The advantage is that it provides a more rigid fixation as compared to anterior approach alone.

Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF): This involves fusion of the anterior and posterior columns of the spine with a single posterior approach. TLIF back surgery is a minimally invasive spine surgery which allows the surgeon to place the bone graft and spacer directly into the created space without forcefully retracting the nerve roots as much (compared to PLIF). This provides the advantage of less trauma and scarring of the tissues and area around the nerve roots.

The spinal fusion can be performed for multiple vertebrae bones (multilevel). Fusing more than one levels of the spine (vertebral segment) may be an option for treatment of back pain. However, spinal fusion of more than 2 levels may result in too much restriction of the normal motion in the lower back and place more stress across the remaining joints. Spinal fusion with 3 or more levels is recommended for people with scoliosis and lumbar deformity.

Recovery After Spinal Fusion Surgery

Following a successful surgery, the patient is kept under vigilance for a few days in the hospital. You are recommended to use a back brace that will offer support for quick recovery. Also, a patient has to undergo a prolonged spinal fusion rehabilitation procedure, depending upon the severity of his or her condition. This includes walking, swimming, stationary biking and other similar activities.

Post-operative spinal fusion rehabilitation program is devised by the surgeons after examining the condition of the patient. Aside from including back strengthening exercises, such programs even entail cardiovascular conditioning program.

In most cases, customised program are designed exclusively for each patient to safely get him or her back to work as quickly as possible. The factors determining a rehabilitation program are related to the extent and type of surgery, and age, anticipated activity level and health of the patient.

In the case of single level fusion in younger patients, active rehabilitation begins within four weeks of the operations. Otherwise, in older patients, the procedure begins after several months after the operation.

It should be known that substantial bone healing starts only after three to four weeks post-surgery. During this time, younger patients are recommended to enhance their physical activities. Nonetheless, evidence of continued healing has been found for up to a year post surgery.

What are the risks and complications associated with spinal fusion surgery?

Spinal fusion surgery is a highly complicated procedure and has certain risks of mortality. Several factors such as the patient’s ripping age, poor nerve symptoms, increased body mass index, poor nutrition, bladder or bowel issues may complicate spine fusion surgery even more.

The rate of risk is high during surgery if the patient is not properly positioned on the operating table or experiences the copious loss of blood, damage to nerves or improper harvesting of the bone graft. Even if the surgery is performed successfully, the complications and risks in spinal fusion surgery still remain.

Signs of wound infections, pulmonary embolism, urinary retention, deep vein thrombosis neurologic deficit post-surgery are alarming. If the patient shows other side effects of spine fusion surgery in the following weeks such as deformity, infection, decreased immune system, adjacent segment disease and epidural fibrosis, then he or she should be taken to the doctor at once.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQs) about Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

Q. What is the duration of hospital stay after spinal fusion surgery in India?

Typically, a hospital stay of 2 to 4 days is required after spine fusion surgery in India. During this period, the doctor and nurses monitor the patient’s recovery and keep a check on any complications. Physiotherapists and occupational therapists also help the patient and guide them through various exercises to help them with movement.

Q. How long does the complete recovery after spinal fusion surgery take?

Recovery time after spine fusion surgery varies for every individual, depending on age, severity of disease, type of surgery and other factors. Usually, it takes 6 to 8 weeks to recover enough to carry out daily activities. The complete fusion of the bones may take 3 months or more if proper rest and healing takes place. The patient may return to more physically demanding activities after 6 months following the surgery.

Q. When can I resume work after the surgery?

Most people are able to resume work with a desk job and light activities in 4 to 6 weeks depending on their recovery and healing speed. The doctor will analyse the patient’s condition and advise a suitable time to go back to work.

Q. Is minimally invasive procedure for spinal fusion available in India?

Spine surgery hospitals in India offer minimally invasive spine surgery for various types of fusion procedures. These hospitals are equipped with the latest medical techniques and surgical equipment that are required for minimally invasive procedures. The spine surgeons in India are highly trained and skilled in performing advanced spine surgery for treatment of various spine and disc problems.

Q. Why is it recommended quitting smoking before the spine fusion surgery?

Smoking has negative effects on the recovery process as tobacco can affect the blood vessels and wound healing ability of the body. It also raises the risk of lung problems and infections after the surgery.

Q. Will I have to wear a brace after spine fusion surgery?

At times, the surgeon may recommend wearing a back brace after spinal fusion surgery to help patients during the recovery. The need for brace depends on the number of levels fused, the type of procedure, patient’s age, the damage to bone and whether the patient has other health problems such as diabetes, obesity and others.

Vanshika Rawat

Written By Vanshika Rawat

Vanshika Rawat is an experienced content developer. She is very knowledgeable in the field of science and healthcare and has worked under brilliant scientists during her higher education. Vanshika obtained her degrees in Masters in Science and Bachelors in Science (Microbiology with Hons.) from renowned institutions - Panjab University and University of Delhi.

Best Hospitals for Spinal Fusion Surgery in India

  1. Medanta The Medicity
  2. BLK Super Speciality Hospital
  3. Max Super Specialty Hospital Saket
  4. Fortis Memorial Research Institute
  5. Artemis Hospital

Understanding the needs and demands of the patients from abroad, India has developed a large network of comprehensively-equipped corporate hospitals in the strategic cities that are well-connected through all forms of transport, be it air or land. The best spinal fusion treatment hospitals in India are equipped with state-of-the-art technologies and advanced equipment that are available in any other advanced hospital in the world.

To break down language barriers, the specialists and all other medical and supporting staff speak English fluently and proficiently. The sense of hospitality and professionalism available at the best spine surgery hospitals in India is impeccable and unparalleled.

The country boasts of highly qualified and accredited spinal surgeons from the most renowned universities in the US and the UK, among other countries. Since India has a large population, these surgeons are used to and specially trained in conducting a large number of surgeries in a day.

Rest assured, spine surgery in India is available in top-notch hospitals across cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Gurgaon, Goa, Kerala, Chennai, Chandigarh and Bangalore. The course of spinal fusion surgery in India is widely appreciated, since most of them are performed under local anaesthesia that involves fewer risks, ensures minimal blood loss, minimal morbidity, as well as ensures a speedy recovery.

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