Back surgery overview

Back surgery is often a concerning and overwhelming thought for patients looking for pain relief from a spine condition. Often, back surgery is considered a last resort, which means that if you are considering this procedure, you’ve already exhausted all other treatment options and you are still suffering from chronic pain.

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the physical and emotional toll this pain is having on your quality of life. We’ve helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain, and we’ve seen the pure joy they have experienced once they realized their life is not restricted by chronic pain any longer. We hope to help you find that same joy.

If you are considering back surgery for your spine condition, make sure you research your surgical options thoroughly.

Types of back surgery available

There are two main types of spine surgery available to patients with severe spine conditions: traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. In both methods, the goal of the surgery is to remove the bulging disc from the pinched nerve in the spinal canal. However, the methods used to reach this goal are very different between the two procedures.

Traditional open back surgery

Traditional spinal fusion begins the procedure through a large incision in the back, often cutting the surrounding muscles and temporarily detaching them from the body to access the spine. Because of this unnecessary cutting and disruption, patients are more susceptible to infection, excessive blood loss, nerve damage and complications after the surgery, such as failed back surgery syndrome.

Once the spine is reached, the damaged disc is removed and the two vertebrae surrounding the empty disc space are fused together to stabilize the spine. This fusion process includes a small metal cage, screws and rods that makes that section of the spine completely immobile. Also, the excessive scar tissue that is developed from the large incision may interfere with the fusion taking hold, or may press into a nearby nerve root and create more pain than you experienced originally.

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective treatment alternative for patients who are recommended to undergo traditional open back surgery. These procedures at Laser Spine Institute are performed on an outpatient basis, have a shorter recovery time^ than traditional open surgery, and offer patients a lower risk of infection and complication.

The difference between these two procedures is that the minimally invasive stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute is performed through a small incision instead of a large incision that cuts through the muscles. In order to reach the spine, our surgeons move the muscles aside without cutting them, which reduces our patients’ overall recovery time.^

Once the spine is reached, the damaged disc is simply removed and replaced with an artificial disc. In some cases, bone grafts from the patient’s own body are needed for additional support in the spine.

Advantages of minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute

Laser Spine Institute is the largest minimally invasive spine surgery center in the nation. Our surgeons perform more minimally invasive neck and spine procedures per year than any other facility in the world, making us the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures have earned a 96 patient satisfaction score^ and a 99 percent patient recommendation rate.

To learn more about back surgery and the minimally invasive, outpatient spine procedures offered at Laser Spine Institute, contact our spine care experts today.