Spinal arthrodesis treatment: when to consider this type of procedure

Arthrodesis is a term for joint fusion surgery, with spinal arthrodesis referring to the fusing together of adjacent vertebrae in the spinal column to stabilize the area. Spinal arthrodesis treatment, like other forms of spine surgery, is usually reserved for patients who have already attempted to manage neck or back pain and other symptoms with a course of nonsurgical methods.

The decision on whether to undergo a spine procedure is an important one, and should be made on as informed a basis as possible. By learning about the full range of conservative treatments that should be pursued before spinal arthrodesis becomes an option, as well as the different approaches that can be taken to fusion surgery, you can make a confident decision with the best chance of offering you lasting relief.

Before arthrodesis treatment

Prior to consenting to any form of spine surgery, doctors will typically advise patients diagnosed with a spine condition to manage symptoms through a combination of conservative treatment methods. The pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness associated with spinal nerve compression can often be managed with methods including:

  • Heating pad applications
  • Cold therapy, like an ice pack
  • Exercises to strengthen supporting muscles
  • Stretches to improve the body’s flexibility
  • Lifestyle changes like posture improvement or quitting smoking
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections

Arthrodesis is usually recommended for patients with severe spine conditions that have not responded to conservative treatment options and require stabilization.

Different approaches to spinal arthrodesis treatment

Traditionally, full open spinal arthrodesis surgery has required a highly invasive procedure that involves a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long recovery period. However, advances in surgical technology have allowed for the development of spinal fusion procedures that are less invasive in nature, including minimally invasive stabilization at Laser Spine Institute.

A minimally invasive stabilization procedure from Laser Spine Institute accomplishes the same goals as a traditional spinal fusion, but offers many advantages to patients by taking a muscle-sparing approach. By using a smaller incision and direct visualization technology to access the area, our procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis, with less risk of complication and a shorter recovery period compared to traditional procedures.^

To learn more about our minimally invasive stabilization options, and to ask for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today.