Dr. Smith has successfully completed thousands of surgeries for his patients, each with their own unique spinal conditions. Dr. Smith specializes in lumbar fusion surgery and has helped patients with complex conditions, including deformity and revision cases, some of whom have been referred to him by other physicians.
Dr. Jeremy Smith provides quality care by leading with compassion – his patient-first approach has been the cornerstone concept of his practice since day one. Find the right lumbar spinal fusion surgeon for your condition at Dr. Jeremy Smith, M.D., and the caring community you need to begin your journey to a pain-free future.
The goal of a spinal fusion is to prevent movement between two (or more) bones in the spine. By connecting the bones or “fusing” them together, a patient will be relieved from the pain that the movement between them is causing.
Lumbar fusion surgery is when a surgeon permanently fuses two or more bones in the spine together, so that they will then begin to move as one unit. A bone graft is often used to “weld” the bones together, as it will cause the vertebrae to grow into one longer bone.
This procedure may be necessary if the spine was formed or injured in a manner that has interrupted the normal alignment, and is now causing the patient pain.
When searching for the right surgeon for your lumbar spinal fusion surgery, you may want to ask your doctor some very specific questions. A spinal surgeon should be board certified, open to new and innovative technologies, and above all, have your best interest at heart when considering how surgery may impact your future mobility. Has your surgeon had complex and comprehensive training and experience performing lumbar spinal fusion surgery? What is their track record? What is their relationship like with their patients during both the pre- and post surgery phases? Learning about your doctor’s relationship to their patients will tell you a lot about the sort of care you can expect from them, too.
Dr. Jeremy Smith, M.D., and his team, are committed to your care from the first time you step into the office – the right procedure for you begins with having a compassionate, listening ear, in order to make the right assessment of your condition. Dr. Smith began his career as valedictorian at New York Medical College and now, as a fellowship-trained orthopaedic spinal surgeon, his opinion is backed by years of study, research, and experience. He was also chief resident during his final year of medical school and was awarded the Top Doctor of Pasadena Magazine among other accolades and achievements. Dr. Jeremy Smith, M.D., has one of the highest success rates in the nation for treating all types of spinal conditions, including lumbar fusion surgery.
“Dr. Smith is not only <em>extremely compassionate</em> and caring, but a <em>talented and skilled surgeon</em>. He performed my second cervical fusion and will now do a posterior cervical fusion. <em>I am truly grateful</em> to have been referred to him with all of the pain I’ve suffered. I am certain that working together we will find the pain relief I so desperately need. <em>Thank you Dr. Smith!</em>”
"I had spinal fusion surgery in 2019 from Dr. Smith. I was personally devastated. As an extremely active individual, I thought my life was over. Going into 2023, I'm in better physical shape than anytime in my life. As an avid cyclist I ride 100 plus miles harder and faster than anyone I know. I ski. I work out. I've had ZERO issues. If you ever want a pro bono testimonial I'm all in. Dr. Smith and team literally saved my life."
"Thank you for truly saving my life on March 30, 2022. The pain I had was almost too over bearing for me that it sent me into a depression that was changing my whole life and not for the better. You and your staff and the entire hospital, treated me like a VIP/ aka.Princess and I’m eternally grateful that it all started with you, your wonderful PAs and your God blessed talents."
There are some things that you can do to be proactive in preparing for the day of your lumbar fusion surgery, some of which can also benefit you during your recovery period. Here are some tips from our team of experts:
Leading up to your surgery, complete any tests or evaluations ahead of time.
Make healthy lifestyle choices. Strengthen your body with: adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and a regular exercise routine. These things will give your body and mind the support that you will need during your post-op recovery period.
Ask your doctor if there are any medications you should stop taking in the days leading up to your lumbar fusion surgery.
Your doctor will review the steps of your lumbar spinal surgery with you during your pre-op consultation, however, the basic steps of the procedure are as follows:
On the day of surgery, we first prepare our patients by making them comfortable. The order of the procedure involves a laminectomy, where your surgeon will make a space between the gaps in the spinal canal bones. Then, the spinal cord and spinal nerves are decompressed and bone spurs are removed. Next, the fusion is performed. After the procedure, your surgeon will then carefully close the wound, and our team will monitor you in the recovery room.
Recovering from your lumbar fusion surgery starts with knowing what to expect after your procedure. Here are some answers to some common questions from our patients.
Ask your doctor what to expect post-surgery and if you will need to stay in the hospital after the procedure, overnight. Depending on your condition, you also may want to ask your doctor about a pain management plan following your procedure.
After the first few weeks following your surgery, you should expect to feel stiff and sore, and to not be able to stand or sit in one position for a long period of time.
During your recovery period, you should avoid certain activities and restrict certain movements. Some things you should avoid are bending, lifting heavy objects, pushing, and pulling.
Most patients can expect to return to normal activities after approximately 3. Ask your doctor when you can expect to return to work – the nature of your physical life at work will impact the timeframe as to when you can expect to return to it.
There are a number of physical therapy exercises that patients can do after their procedures. We have developed a robust catalog of exercises that you can utilize to support you in a speedier recovery process. Here are some exercises tailored specifically to patients recovering from lumbar spinal surgery: Patient Resources
How long does lumbar fusion surgery take?
This procedure takes between 45 minutes and 6 hours, depending on the complexity of the case. This time will vary from patient to patient.
What types of anesthesia are used during lumbar fusion surgery?
General anesthesia is used for all of our lumbar fusion surgeries. We also use local anesthesia and nerve blocks to help minimize surgical pain.
How much does lumbar fusion surgery cost in Orange County, CA?
Generally, lumbar fusion surgery in Orange County, CA can cost anywhere between $18,000-$56,000 and upwards. However, this procedure may be covered by your health insurance. Our billing department is ready to answer any specific questions you have.
Will I need to wear a brace after lumbar fusion surgery?
It is important that you wear your brace while up and out of a chair after lumbar fusion surgery, for the first 6 weeks. This brace is for comfort and is also a reminder to avoid bending, lifting, and twisting. It may be removed before showering, when sitting in a chair, and while sleeping, but it is important to remember to maintain your back’s alignment.
How successful is lumbar fusion surgery?
Success rates depend on the diagnosis. However, for the most common diagnosis requiring surgery success rate is upwards of 85%.
What are the alternatives to lumbar fusion surgery?
If you are not a candidate for lumbar fusion surgery, ask your doctor for an effective alternative. Other options may be: epidural steroid injections (particularly if you suffer from discomfort caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis) decompression without fusion, or artificial disc replacement.
CATHERINE JOHNSON • LAGUNA BEACH, CA