Understanding the risks of herniated disc surgery with fusion

It can be difficult to live with a herniated disc — a spine condition that can cause debilitating neck or back pain. Herniated disc surgery with spinal fusion is a technique used to relieve the painful symptoms associated with a nerve that’s being compressed by a disc herniation.

You may experience pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness with a herniated disc. These symptoms can sometimes be managed using conservative treatments such as pain medication, physical therapy, rest or stretching techniques. Traditional open spinal fusion surgery is typically used as a last resort, when all other options to find pain relief have been exhausted.

If you’re considering herniated disc surgery, we recommend you explore the minimally invasive surgical options available at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, with reduced risk of infection in an outpatient setting. Contact our Care Team today to learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery and 96 patient satisfaction rate.

Potential drawbacks of traditional open spine fusion surgery

The decision to have spine surgery is not an easy one to make. If a herniated disc is severe, traditional open spine fusion surgery is usually one of the last options for neck or back pain relief.

During traditional open spine surgery, a long incision is made — about 6 – 8 inches long — in order to cut through the muscles and perform the fusion procedure. The damage to the surrounding muscles during this type of procedure disrupts the spine and can lead to increased risk of infection and excruciating pain. After the procedure, the patient is hospitalized for several days during an extended recovery period.

Before you have surgery to treat a herniated disc, we encourage you to research the potential risks of traditional open spine fusion procedures. Other possible disadvantages of open spine herniated disc surgery involving fusion include:

• About 50 percent of all traditional open spine surgeries, including fusion, do not relieve chronic neck and back pain.
• Full recovery can take up to a year or longer.
• Vertebrae above and below the stabilized area can become unstable because of increased stress, leading to more herniated discs, bone spurs or spinal stenosis.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery offers an alternative to traditional open back surgery.

Minimally invasive alternative to traditional open spine fusion surgery

Before you decide to have open spine herniated disc surgery, we encourage you to explore the minimally invasive spine surgery options available at Laser Spine Institute.

With a less than 1-inch incision, our minimally invasive outpatient procedures can provide relief from the chronic neck and back pain caused by many spine conditions. At our state-of-the-art outpatient facilities, our highly skilled surgeons use muscle-sparing techniques that spread the muscles without cutting, reducing the risk of infection and postsurgical pain when compared to traditional open spine surgery. With a patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100,^, we’ve helped more than 75,000 patients return to work three times faster compared to traditional open back surgery.

Our surgeons may recommend minimally invasive decompression surgery or minimally invasive stabilization surgery, depending on the severity of your herniated disc condition. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more, or to request a review of your MRI or CT scan.

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