Posterior Spinal Fusion
The pedicle screw, which is sometimes used as an adjunct to spinal fusion surgery, provides a means of gripping a spinal segment. The screws themselves do not fixate the spinal segment, but act as firm anchor points that can then be connected with a rod.
The screws are placed at consecutive spine segments and then a rod is used to connect the screws. This construct prevents motion at the segments that are being fused.
In the posterolateral gutter fusion, use of pedicle screws has improved spinal fusion rates from approximately 60% to 90%. Many surgeons also believe that pedicle screws enhance patient recovery because they provide immediate stability for the spine and early mobilization for the patient.
Pedicle screws are approved by the FDA for use in the lower (lumbar) spine for specific conditions.