Understanding the risks and potential complications of cervical spinal stenosis fusion

Potential complications during cervical spinal stenosis fusion

If you have been diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis — the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck — and you are searching for treatment options to reduce your pain, you should know that about 90 percent of patients who have cervical spinal stenosis can manage their symptoms through conservative treatment.

Even with such a high percentage, many other patients are recommended to undergo spine surgery to treat their pain and symptoms. There are many cervical spine surgery options, but the two main categories for surgery are traditional open neck surgery and minimally invasive surgery.

The first step to finding pain relief is to consult your physician or spine care specialist about the nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available to you. At Laser Spine Institute, we understand that the thought of spine surgery can be overwhelming and sometimes even scary. That is why we are committed to providing you with knowledge about both nonsurgical and surgical treatments so you can make an informed decision about your spine care needs.

Risks of cervical spinal stenosis fusion

Before you agree to undergo traditional open neck surgery, you should understand the potential risks involved with this procedure. The highly invasive nature of this surgery leaves patients open to certain risks, including:

  • Muscle damage. During open spine surgery, muscle must be cut away to see the area being operated on, causing painful injury to the muscle tissue.
  • Clots. Also known as thrombosis; steps must be taken by the surgical team to prevent serious thrombosis-related problems, including pulmonary embolism.
  • Infection. This is relatively rare, but unpredictable; if it occurs beneath the skin, additional surgery may be required.
  • Nerve damage. A surgical instrument that bumps or cuts a nerve can cause permanent damage.

An alternative to open neck fusion

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer safer and effective alternatives that can help patients with spinal stenosis and other spine conditions without the increased risks involved with traditional open neck fusion.^ Our minimally invasive stabilization surgery supports and stabilizes the spine without the unnecessarily large incision and muscle tearing that is often involved in traditional fusion. Our procedures are performed through a less than 1-inch incision and to avoid disruption to any of the surrounding muscles or soft tissue.

Because of our minimally invasive techniques, our patients are able to experience an outpatient procedure and shorter recovery time than patients who choose to have traditional open neck fusion.^

For more information about the benefits of our minimally invasive stabilization surgery and the conditions we treat, please contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our team can provide you with a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery.