Facts about fusion surgery for spinal discs

If your life is being disrupted by chronic neck or back pain and a full course of conservative treatment like pain medication and physical therapy has not brought relief, surgery is usually the next consideration. When you have severe disc issues, procedures involving disc removal and the fusing together of vertebrae are sometimes required. As you go over your options, it is extremely important to read the following article, so you can be as informed as possible and make a decision that gives you the best chance of finding lasting relief.

The drawbacks of traditional open back fusions

The exact type of fusion performed will vary depending on the location and specific type of damage in the spine. However, most procedures will involve full or partial disc removal. The resulting gap is filled with bone grafts to stimulate growth that will help fuse the vertebrae together. Finally, the surgeon will reinforce this graft with hardware for increased stabilization.

Traditional open back fusion surgery is highly invasive, requiring:

  • A very large incision between 6 to 8 inches
  • The cutting of tissue and muscles
  • A long and painful recovery period

While traditional open back fusions are widely performed, the risk of complication and infection from this major surgery often make it a troubling decision for potential patients.

Minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open back fusion

Minimally invasive spine surgery, like the procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute, use smaller incisions that do not sever muscle tissue. The outpatient procedures at Laser Spine Institute offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion and provide a lower risk of complication as well as a shorter recovery time.^ To learn more about the advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery, contact us today.

The skilled surgeons at Laser Spine Institute are the leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery and have given more than 75,000 patients relief from chronic neck or back pain. If you are a candidate for an open back fusion, our minimally invasive stabilization procedures are a simpler and more precise alternative. Reach out to our dedicated team to get a free MRI or CT scan review,* to find out if our procedures would be an effective option for you.