Extracted from Agusta Orthopedic
This surgical procedure is used when there is severe enough disc
degeneration and narrowing that more space is needed between the
bones of the spine. A small cylinder is placed between the bones
of the spine to hold them apart. The cage has holes in it and the
bone grows in and around it, holding it in place. This relieves
the pressure on the nerves of the spine and patients are usually
able to return to a more active lifestyle and control their back
The purpose of a spinal fusion is to eliminate painful motion that
occurs at that spinal segment.
There are many techniques used to fuse spinal segments. The main
advantage touted in favor of the BAK cage is that it can be done
through a limited exposure.
The BAK cage is typically inserted from the anterior or frontal
approach via a laproscopic procedure. Thus it requires no large
incision and tissue trauma can be limited. Recovery time is thereby
The BAK cage allows the patient to be up and about without
a hard plastic brace. However, the BAK fusion cage depends on the
bone healing from one vertebra through the cage to the other vertebra.
It is imperative that the patient not smoke. Smoking decreases blood
supply (because of the nicotine). Spinal fusions require a good
blood supply to heal and the process can take up to 4 months.
Once the pinch on the nerve is removed, the patients legs feel
better and stronger almost immediately. The patient will experience
moderate back discomfort, however. A lumbar corset can be worn for
support. The intense back pain resolves quickly (2-3 days), but
the residual nagging back ache lasts up until the fusion is healed.
The procedure must still be considered experimental. It is not
widely available. It is also technically demanding and takes alot
of experience to master the technique. At this time there is promise
for the procedure, but one must be very cautious about pursuing
the surgery, reviewing the credentials and experience of the surgeons.