In a posterolateral gutter fusion procedure, the spine is approached from the back. Bone graft is taken from the pelvis and laid out in the posterolateral portion of the spine that is to be fused. The back muscles hold the graft in place until it fuses with the vertebrae. A fusion will setup within three months and will continue to get stronger for one to two years.
Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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