Spondylolisthesis surgery may be an option for those who have tried conservative spondylolisthesis treatments but are still experiencing pain or limited mobility. The two main types of surgery used to treat symptoms of spondylolisthesis are decompression procedures – such as a laminectomy or laminotomy – and spinal fusions.
Oftentimes, the pain caused by spondylolisthesis is a result of bone matter, disc material, or other tissues in the spinal canal pressing against a nerve. During a decompression surgery, a surgeon will remove what’s placing pressure on the nerve root and spinal cord, thereby releasing these nerves from the source of their pain.
The second spondylolisthesis surgery, a spinal fusion, is often performed in conjunction with decompression surgery. Since decompression involves the removal of spinal components, the structural integrity of the spine can become unstable as a result. If this is the case, a spinal fusion is performed to insert a bone graft or synthetic materials into the part of the spine where vertebrae, discs, or other matter has been removed. Hardware such as screws and rods are used to support the spine as it heals. The purpose of spinal fusion is also to force two or more vertebrae to permanently grow together as one bone.
Both procedures come with some negative side effects, and both are generally performed in a hospital using general anesthesia. These surgeries involve large incisions and damage to muscle and tissue, so the recovery time can be lengthy.
However there is a minimally invasive alternative to open-back spondylolisthesis surgery and other traditional back surgeries. At Laser Spine Institute (LSI), our outpatient procedures use tiny incisions and an endoscope to treat a wide range of conditions affecting the back and neck, but with less pain and quicker recovery time than open back surgery.
If you would like to learn about LSI’s gentle, minimally invasive endoscopic procedures, contact us today. We can review your MRI or CT scan absolutely free of cost.