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Spinal Fusion Specialist

J. Rafe Sales, MD -  - Spine Surgeon

J. Rafe Sales, MD

Spine Surgeon located in Portland, Newberg & Lake Oswego, OR

If you suffer from degenerative disc disease or chronic herniated discs, you might benefit from a spinal fusion procedure. At his practice at St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, J. Rafe Sales, MD, a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, has performed over 900 spinal fusion procedures. He uses minimally invasive techniques and state-of-the-art devices to achieve spinal fusion. If you have chronic back pain, call Dr. Sales, or schedule a consultation online today to find out if spinal fusion is the right treatment for you.

Spinal Fusion Q & A

What is spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion is an operation that joins two or more of the vertebrae in your spine into a single bone. The procedure increases the stability of your spine and eliminates abnormal and painful motion. 

Dr. Sales is a leading orthopedic spine surgeon and uses state-of-the-art surgical procedures and devices, including the Flarehawk® interbody implant and Amplify™ Dual X expanding interbody fusion system to restore your spine.

What happens during a spinal fusion procedure?

Dr. Sales uses a variety of surgical methods and approaches, depending on your specific needs. For example, he can approach your spine from the front (anterior), side (lateral), or back (posterior) of your body, and uses minimally invasive surgical techniques whenever possible to minimize tissue damage and infection risk. None of Dr. Sales patients have developed any postoperative infection in over seven years.  

Once he accesses your spine, he removes any damaged tissue, including spinal discs, bone spurs, or other debris. Then he places a bone graft or an interbody implant into your spine to connect your vertebrae. If necessary, Dr. Sales uses medical-grade wires and screws to secure your fused vertebrae. 

Dr. Sales usually completes spinal fusion surgery in 60-90 minutes, and in many cases, it’s an outpatient procedure. 

What should I expect while recovering from spinal fusion surgery?

Dr. Sales’ spinal fusion patients benefit from the shortest length of stay in Oregon. Most patients can return to light duties within two weeks of their spinal fusion surgery. 

In most cases, you take medicine for a couple of days to manage any pain and reduce your risk of infection. You also wear a brace to stabilize and support your spine while your bones heal and fuse together. 

Am I a good candidate for spinal fusion surgery?

Dr. Sales provides comprehensive exams before recommending any treatment, including spinal fusion surgery. Depending on your needs, he might recommend spinal fusion to correct issues, including:

  • Herniated discs
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Fractured vertebra
  • Degenerative disc disease

Dr. Sales usually treats spine problems with nonsurgical options like spinal injections and physical therapy. If conservative treatment doesn’t help, he might suggest spinal fusion.

If you have chronic back pain, call Dr. Sales for expert diagnosis and treatment, or schedule your appointment online today.