Mayo Clinic's approach

At Mayo Clinic, neurosurgeons and orthopedic surgeons draw upon their vast experience with spinal fusion techniques to help provide exactly the treatment and care you need for your specific condition.

  • Teamwork. People who need spinal fusion sometimes need other types of back surgery at the same time. Mayo Clinic's integrated practice gives you access to all the experts needed to solve your problems.
  • Experience. Mayo Clinic surgeons have decades of experience in performing spinal fusions. They have become adept at repairing a variety of extremely complicated spinal problems.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic research scientists and doctors are continually improving spinal fusion techniques. Research by Mayo specialists covers a wide range of areas, including minimally invasive surgical techniques, biomechanical enhancements for screws and hooks used in spinal fusion, and better techniques for complicated spinal reconstructions.
  • Technology. State-of-the-art imaging technology helps Mayo physicians precisely diagnose your back or neck problems. The correct diagnosis is key to successful treatment. Advanced imaging and brain-monitoring techniques during spinal fusion surgeries help improve safety and surgical outcomes.

The Mayo Clinic experience and patient stories

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care like they've never experienced. See the stories of satisfied Mayo Clinic patients.

  1. Walking Tall After Spine Surgery

    Gyles Randall lived for years with pervasive pain that radiated down his legs. When he no longer could tolerate the discomfort, he sought medical help and was surprised to be referred to a neurosurgeon. But that referral made a world of difference. As an agriculture researcher focused on soil fertility, nutrient management and tillage, Gyles [...]

  2. Spinal Fusion Surgery Revives an Active Lifestyle

    After a sudden injury left her with multiple ruptured disks in her lower back, Pat Henneberry knew Mayo Clinic was the place she wanted to go to help her get back on her feet. Returning to her home in Austin, Texas, one day in spring 2018, Pat Henneberry stepped inside and without warning fell to [...]

  3. Spine Surgery Tames Pain, Puts School Bus Driver Back Behind the Wheel

    For more than a decade, Mike Ramsey suffered from debilitating pain due to a severe spinal deformity. He thought disability and pain would always dominate his life. Then he met a neurosurgeon at Mayo Clinic who offered him a path to relief. Today, Mike is pain-free. Mike Ramsey dealt with lower back pain for years. [...]

  4. Using the Art of Medicine to Overcome Fear of Surgery

    For years, artist Jennifer Hunter harbored an intense fear of surgery and lived with chronic pain. When the pain became debilitating, she decided to find a way to use her art to manage her anxiety. Jennifer Hunter uses art to express herself and?identity with the world. It's a tool that helps her process information and [...]

  5. Back to Pursuing Her Passions After Spine Surgery

    Kathie Hanson went from being an active outdoor enthusiast to being unable to walk without assistance. But the care she received at Mayo Clinic has again allowed her to take part in the many activities that fill her life with joy. Swimming has been a huge part of Kathie Hanson's life. She was a lifeguard [...]

  6. An Active Life Restored, Thanks to Regenerative Medicine

    For years, Rick Amatuzio lived with severe back pain that kept him from the active life he'd always savored. But advanced diagnostic tests and regenerative medicine therapy at Mayo Clinic ultimately led to a complete recovery. Now Rick once again can play sports and enjoy the outdoors free from pain. A typical weekend for Rick [...]

  7. 62-Year-Old Spinal Fusion Stands the Test of Time

    In 1956, spinal fusion surgery was in its infancy. But the pioneering medicine Joyce Gugler received for scoliosis from her Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeons at that time set her on the path to a pain-free future. Even at age 13, Joyce Weisman Gugler knew she was receiving state-of-the-art treatment when, in 1956, she underwent spinal [...]

Expertise and rankings

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons perform more than 1,200 spinal fusions each year.
  • Advanced techniques. Mayo surgeons can perform spinal fusion from the back, front or side of the spine and have access to the newest varieties of bone-fusing materials. Minimally invasive approaches are selected, when appropriate.
  • Efficient care. In many cases you can be evaluated and have surgery all within just a few days.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., is ranked highly performing for neurology and neurosurgery by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for neurology and neurosurgery.

Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and Mayo Clinic in Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ariz., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for orthopedics by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., is ranked highly performing for orthopedics.

Learn more about the expertise and rankings of Mayo Clinic's neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery departments.

Locations, travel and lodging

Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.

For more information on visiting Mayo Clinic, choose your location below:

Costs and insurance

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.

In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Learn more about appointments at Mayo Clinic.

Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.

More information about billing and insurance:

Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota

Mayo Clinic Health System

Clinical trials

Explore Mayo Clinic studies testing new treatments, interventions and tests as a means to prevent, detect, treat or manage this disease.

Aug. 10, 2019
References
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  2. Chou R. Subacute and chronic low-back pain: Surgical treatment. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Dec. 21, 2018.
  3. Brunicardi FC, et al. Spine: Basic concepts. In: Schwartz's Principles of Surgery. 10th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill; 2015. https://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed Dec. 21, 2018.
  4. Barbara Woodward Lips Patient Education Center. Spine Surgery. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
  5. McMahon SB, et al. Surgery for back and neck pain (including radiculopathies). In: Wall & Melzack's Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 21, 2018.
  6. Baron EM, et al. Transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion. In: Operative Techniques: Spine Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 4, 2019.
  7. Steinmetz MP, et al. Biology of spine fusion. In: Benzel's Spine Surgery: Techniques, Complication Avoidance, and Management. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Dec. 21, 2018.
  8. Bydon M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dec. 12, 2018.
  9. Guideline: Lateral interbody fusion in the lumbar spine for low back pain (IPG574). National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 2017. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan 7, 2019.
  10. Wheeler SG, et al. Evaluation of low back pain in adults. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed Jan. 10, 2019.
  11. Garfin SR, et al. Lumbar disc disease. In: Rothman-Simeone and Herkowitz's The Spine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Jan. 10, 2019.
  12. Huddleston PM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 13, 2019.
  13. Morrow ES. Allscripts EPSi. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Jan. 7, 2019.