When to consider a fusion surgery to treat disc herniation

Disc herniation can be an extremely difficult condition to live with, affecting your family, work and leisure activities negatively. In exploring treatment options you may be wondering if surgery, such as an open spine fusion procedure, is going to be necessary to help you return to an acceptable quality of life.

Traditional disc herniation fusion surgery usually involves the complete removal of one or more damaged spinal discs followed by the insertion of bone graft material and metallic or plastic spinal instrumentation to stabilize the surrounding vertebrae. When performed as a traditional open spine surgery, it’s a complicated, invasive procedure that requires a hospital stay and a lengthy recuperation.

Considering surgery to treat disc herniation

Keep in mind that in a large number of cases, a discectomy combined with vertebral fusion surgery is an elective procedure and is usually seen as a last resort. Many patients who are experiencing symptoms associated with a herniated disc find relief through conservative treatments prescribed by their doctor. Typical options include:

  • Pain medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Exercise
  • Lifestyle changes like improving posture, losing weight or quitting smoking

If these and other options are fully exhausted without providing needed relief, surgery may become a serious consideration at this point. However, even patients who are considered to be candidates for spine surgery have options beyond a traditional open neck or back fusion procedure.

Laser Spine Institute

Laser Spine Institute offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional spinal fusion with our range of minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.^ We provide a minimally invasive discectomy, performed through a less than 1-inch incision, which takes pressure off spinal nerves while leaving the disc intact. If full disc removal and fusion are required, our minimally invasive stabilization procedures are still performed on an outpatient basis and through a smaller incision compared to traditional fusion procedures.

Because of our muscle-sparing techniques, patients are encouraged to be up and walking within hours of a procedure and experience less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional open neck or back surgery.^

Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more. Our dedicated and caring team can help you receive a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.