The 6 Key Structures Involved in Lumbar Fusion

Lower Back Pain Structures

Lower back pain is a very complex problem with many structures of the lower back being involved. For those that have a back injury, in time that lower back injury can lead to lumbar fusion.

A lumbar fusion is when you have surgery in order to have two vertebrae connected together in order to relive pain. In reliving pain, you do lose movement in your back.

The lower back is made up of a number of different structures. Some of them include bones, muscles, ligaments, fascia and nerves. All of these structures play are role in the function of the back but there are some key ones that are involved in spinal fusion surgery.

Key Lower Back Structures for Lumbar Fusion

There is a lot of anatomy to the lower back but we will focus on what is important for lumbar fusion. Looking at the key structures in the lower back that you need to known about, there are boney and non-boney structures that are important.

The most important structures when it relates to lumbar fusion are: vertebral bodies, intervertabral discs, spinous process, transverse process, and the pedicles of the vertebrae.

Vertebral Bodies

The vertebral bodies are the individual boney parts of the spine. In the body that are In the lower back there are 5 vertebral bodies. Vertebral bodies are made in rectangular shapes and are separated by intervertabral discs. In a spinal fusion surgery, the intervertabral disc is removed and two vertebral bodies are connected together.

Intervertabral Discs

The space between to vertebral bodies has a intervertebral disc between them. The intervertebral disc is a structure that helps shock absorb forces that are put through the spine. It is the structure that is removed with most spinal fusion surgeries.

Spinous Process

The back part of the vertebral bodies is the spinous process. If you run you finger along your spine, you will fell boney bumps, there are the spinous process. They are important for attachments of the muscles and ligaments. When people talk about their lower back muscles, these muscles are connected to spinous process of the vertebral bodies in the spine.

Transverse Process

It is a boney projection that comes off the vertebral body to the side. It plays a key roll in muscle and ligament attachment.


Is a short projection of bone that comes off the back of the vertebral body. It is between the back of the vertebral body and the transverse process. And there are two pedicles per vertebrae, one on each side.

The pedicle is very important this ends in the surgeries for lumbar fusion because screws are placed in this area to stabilize the joint.

The lower back is a very complex structure. If you back injury has progressed to a point that you need surgery, remember the above 6 structures as they play a big role in lumbar fusion. Knowing these structures will help you better understand when you doctor is explain they surgery to your or when you go out and do some research on lumbar fusion.

ATTENTION FITNESS PROFESSIONAL Get Your $299 Fitness Education Gift. Rick Kaselj specializes in helping clients use exercise to overcome their injuries. Rick shares his knowledge and experience with other fitness professionals across North America through live courses, webinars and books -

Share Article

Related Articles