About lumbar fusion surgery

Lumbar fusion is a surgical procedure that can treat the most common spine conditions in the lower back by replacing one or more damaged discs with bone grafts and implants. The traditional open spine procedure aims to reduce chronic pain resulting from nerve compression by removing bone and disc material pressing against a nerve and stabilizing the damaged area of the spine with a metal cage and rods.

After traditional lumbar fusion surgery, patients must stay in the hospital between two to five days and undergo an extensive recovery period of six months to a year. This recovery period gives the spine time to heal as well as the muscles time to rebuild after being detached from the spine. To learn more about the lumbar fusion surgery process, read the following article.

How a lumbar fusion surgery works

If you have experienced chronic lumbar (lower back) pain, your doctor may recommend a more severe form of treatment, like traditional open spine surgery, if conservative options do not appear to be helping.

Traditional lumbar fusion surgery is a highly invasive procedure that involves the following:

  • Two 6- to 8-inch incisions — one to access the spine and one to harvest bone grafts from your hip bones
  • Cutting and pushing aside of muscle tissue
  • Removal of part or all of the damaged disc
  • Insertion of bone grafts, metal brackets and screws to provide stability to the spine

Because of the cutting and tearing of muscles, patients are at an increased risk of infection and failed back surgery syndrome compared to the patients who choose minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Alternatives to lumbar fusion surgery

Laser Spine Institute offers a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional lumbar fusion surgery. Our minimally invasive discectomy and stabilization procedures treat lumbar spine conditions without cutting or tearing the muscles around the spine. If you would like more information about the advantages of Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive procedures, contact us today.

To maintain mobility in the lumbar spine, our board-certified+ surgeons replace the damaged disc with an artificial disc or bone graft. This helps our patients heal more naturally than patients who undergo traditional lumbar fusion surgery with a metal cage and screws. To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to our dedicated team and ask for a free MRI review.*