What is Fusion Surgery?

A common question that many spine specialists hear from their patients is, “What is fusion surgery?” After all, if you’ve just been told that you may be a candidate for a traditional open spine surgery to treat your neck or back pain, you’re likely to have several questions. Yet, while it can be extremely important to learn all about the numerous advantages and limitations of this course of treatment, it is equally important for the patient to do their research into alternative forms of spinal treatment that may not be nearly as invasive or traumatic. A minimally invasive fusion from Laser Spine Institute, for instance, may offer the pain relief you require on an outpatient basis.

The basics of spinal fusion

For decades, open spinal fusion surgery was the last bastion of hope for patients who had exhausted all other treatments and were still looking for relief from neck and back pain. This surgery is intended to permanently stabilize a deteriorated vertebral segment of the spine because if the spinal column is fused at the affected region, symptoms stemming from movement won’t be experienced.

In order to complete this traditional open spine surgery, the patient must be admitted to a hospital. Once the patient is sedated, the surgeon (or team of surgeons) makes a sizable incision and cuts through the soft tissues in order to access the spine. Once the damaged part of the spine is accessed, the deteriorated intervertebral disc is carefully removed and replaced – usually with a bone graft – and further surgical hardware is installed to stabilize the spine and help the affected vertebrae to grow into a solid piece of bone. Recovery from this operation often takes months, if not years, in order to potentially regain full strength and comfort.

Another approach

In recent years, advances in surgical technology have made minimally invasive spine procedures not only a possibility, but a common occurrence. Minimally invasive stabilization procedures at Laser Spine Institute, for instance, can be used to address a variety of conditions including:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Recurrent herniated discs
  • Spinal stenosis
  • And more

If you are considering undergoing traditional open spine surgery and find yourself asking, “What is fusion surgery?” then take the time to reach out to Laser Spine Institute and learn about all of our minimally invasive procedures. Contact us for more information.