Traditional back surgery, often referred to as “open spine surgery,” is a procedure used to treat conditions affecting the spine such as spine arthritis, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vertebral fractures, bone spurs, and others. During traditional back surgery, the patient is generally anesthetized, and a long incision (usually 5 to 6 inches) is made through the muscles and other soft tissues to access the affected part of the spine. The muscles are disconnected from their attachments to the spine and are retracted laterally. At the completion of corrective actions, some muscles are sewn back into approximate position as the wound is closed.
Traditional back surgery requires a postoperative hospital stay of several days. Most patients will require substantial pain medication for 2 to 4 weeks postoperatively. The incisions may require 7 to 14 days to heal sufficiently to allow daily activities. Full healing and recovery from the entire process may take up to a year. During the healing process, scar tissue will develop. This scar tissue is natural and unavoidable. If scarring is extensive by itself, frequently it produces undesirable consequences in the years following open spinal surgery.
The Laser Spine Institute alternative
An alternative to traditional open back surgery is minimally invasive endoscopic surgery such as the type offered at Laser Spine Institute (LSI). If conservative treatments have failed to produce satisfactory symptom improvement, we encourage you to read our testimonial pages. Please inquire how minimally invasive procedures at LSI have helped others reclaim their lives. Visit our FAQ page as well. If questions remain, contact us. A member of our caring staff would be happy to help you. We also can offer a complimentary review of your existing MRI or CT scan to determine whether our innovative procedures are appropriate in your case.