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Sextant Fusion

Sextant Fusion is a minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery offered at WakeMed. This innovative procedure allows for a complete vertebral fusion without disrupting the major muscles or tissues normally experienced during an open or more traditional spinal fusion.

Using a the CD HORIZON® SEXTANT™ Spinal System, surgeons can perform spinal fusion – where bone is grafted between two vertebrae to allow them to grow together – using a series of tiny incisions in the skin and separating the muscles at natural divisions. Patients benefit from this technique by having a smaller scar, shorter hospitalization, recovery and reduced pain.

Learn what to expect from surgery

Under general anesthesia, the surgeon makes a series of small incisions in the patient’s lumbar region of the back. Using fluoroscopy to visualize the spine, the surgeon uses the specially designed rods, screws and surgical tools to access the region and secure the rods in place.

First, long metal shafts called screw extenders are inserted to deliver and attach screws at the precise location in the vertebrae. They protrude outside the body to allow the surgeon to attach the rod inserter. This tool, an arc-shaped arm that rotates, places a pre-cut rod through the skin and onto the heads of the screws. The extenders and inserter are removed and the small incisions are stitched together. The muscles are relaxed back into their normal position.

Patients typically remain in the hospital for one to two days, based on individual recovery. Many patients have immediate relief from pain. Patients are encouraged to stay active with light exercise, including walking, biking, swimming and other low-impact exercises. As with any spinal fusion, it takes time for the bone to heal. This can take several months.