Lumbar herniated disc fusion

A herniated disc in the lumbar spine (lower back) can be extremely painful and can prevent you from participating in the activities you enjoy. Simple tasks such as walking and cleaning are now too painful to perform. If you have been suffering with this pain for several months and you have not found any relief from conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medication, it may be time for you to consider a lumbar herniated disc fusion.

While the thought of a spinal fusion may be concerning, you should research some alternative options before moving forward with any treatment method. For example, Laser Spine Institute offers a minimally invasive stabilization procedure that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion and offers a higher patient satisfaction rate. Take a moment to learn more about the alternative treatment options available for lumbar herniated disc surgery and reach out to the spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute with any questions about treatments.

What is traditional lumbar spinal fusion?

Fusion of the spine is a procedure that fuses two or more vertebrae together. The herniated disc is removed, and in its place, bone grafts are used to help the growth of a solid “bone bridge” that not only widens the disc space, but also limits the movement of that section of the spine.

Often, these procedures are performed as traditional spinal fusions, which is a highly invasive operation that requires several nights of hospitalization. This surgery begins with a very large incision in the back that cuts through the muscles surrounding the spine — the muscles that offer support to the spine. In some cases, these muscles are temporarily detached from the body to give the surgeons more room to work. Once the spine is accessed, the vertebrae surrounding the herniated disc are permanently joined together with a small metal cage, screws and rods to stabilize and support the spine.

Because of the highly invasive nature of this procedure, such complications as infections and failed back surgery syndrome are at an increased rate. The excessive scar tissue that builds up internally as the large incision is healing can cause severe pain and symptoms, sometimes even worse than the original pain of the herniated disc. This excessive scar tissue can press against a nerve in the spine or it can press into the fusion area and prevent the fusion from setting. Either way, the large, invasive incision used during traditional open back surgery increases a patient’s risk of complication, infection and failed back surgery syndrome.

Alternatives to traditional open spine surgery

Patients searching for pain relief from a herniated disc don’t have to settle for traditional open back fusion. The minimally invasive stabilization procedure at Laser Spine Institute offers patients a lower risk of infection and complication, a higher patient satisfaction rate and a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open back surgery.

Instead of using a large incision, our surgeons make a very small incision in the back to access the spine, moving the muscles aside without any cutting or tearing. Once the spine is accessed, the herniated disc is simply removed and replaced with an artificial disc to simulate a natural range of motion in the spine. In some instances, additional bone grafts may be used to help support the spine.

To see if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive stabilization surgery for a lumbar herniated disc, please contact Laser Spine Institute today and ask for a review of your MRI report or CT scan.

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