Traditional open back surgery for spinal arthritis

Traditional open back surgery, often referred to as “open spine surgery,” is a surgical approach used to treat spine conditions such as spinal arthritis, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, vertebral fractures, bone spurs and many others.

If you have been diagnosed with arthritis of the spine (osteoarthritis) or any other spine condition and you have been recommended by your physician to undergo spine surgery, we encourage you to fully research all of your treatment options before consenting to traditional open back surgery. We understand that the thought of spine surgery can be overwhelming, which is why we want you to know that there are safer, more effective treatment alternatives available, such as minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute.

Risks of traditional open back surgery for spinal arthritis

While traditional open back surgery may have some benefits of pain relief, the highly invasive procedures used during the surgery often leave patients with an increased risk of excessive blood loss, infection, extended hospitalization and failed back surgery syndrome.

During traditional back surgery, a long incision (usually 5 to 6 inches) is made through the muscles and other soft tissue in the neck, back, throat or abdomen to access the damaged part of the spine. Because this procedure does not use minimally invasive techniques, the muscles surrounding the spine must be carefully disconnected from their attachments to the spine and are cut laterally to allow the surgeon to access the spine. After the surgery, the muscles are sewn back into approximate position as the incision is closed by the surgical team.

Because of the highly invasive techniques used throughout the surgery, patients are required to stay multiple days in the hospital to recover from the procedure. This accrues additional hospital expenses beyond the cost of the surgery. Additionally, the recovery time following a traditional open back surgery is often difficult and long because the core muscles around the spine must rebuild and repair in order to help support the body.

Laser Spine Institute alternative to traditional open back surgery

An alternative to traditional open back surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that offers less risk and complications. At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to help patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

Our minimally invasive procedures benefit our patients because we offer a safer and effective treatment alternative to traditional open back surgery. Unlike traditional open back surgery that requires a large incision and tears the surrounding muscles, our procedures are performed through a small, 1-inch incision and do not affect the muscles surrounding the spine. This allows our patients to have a lower risk of infection and a shorter recovery time^ than patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

For more information about the advantages of our minimally invasive surgery and how we can treat spinal arthritis, please contact Laser Spine Institute today.