When to consider spine surgery for neck and back pain.
Patients who have been diagnosed with a spine condition may be recommended to undergo a spine operation to treat the condition if months of conservative therapy do not provide pain relief. A very large number of degenerative spine conditions respond well to conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medication. However, if you have undergone conservative care for more than three months and have not found improvement in your condition and lasting relief from pain, you should consult your physician about a spine operation.
Our team at Laser Spine Institute understands the anxiety patients feel when deciding whether or not to undergo spine surgery. As you move forward with this decision, it is important to research all of the types of spine surgery available so you can make an informed decision about your health care needs.
Types of spine operations available to you
There are two broad types of spine surgery available: traditional open back surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. While these two approaches have the same goal of reducing a patient’s pain and symptoms, there are key differences in the way these two surgeries are performed:
- Traditional open back surgery. This type of spine operation is performed in a hospital setting and, because of the highly invasive nature of the procedure, can require a two- to three-day hospitalization after the surgery. The spine operation begins with a large incision in the back, which cuts through the muscles and soft tissue surrounding the spine. Downsides of this approach include a long recovery time and risk of complications like infection.
- Minimally invasive spine surgery. Minimally invasive procedures, including the ones performed at Laser Spine Institute, take a muscle-sparing approach to accessing the spine. This means a smaller incision and the ability for spine operations to be performed on an outpatient basis. At Laser Spine Institute our procedures offer patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time when compared to traditional open spine surgery.^
Minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute
We offer two types of minimally invasive surgery: minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization. During our minimally invasive decompression surgery, the surgeon will remove a portion of a diseased disc, joint or a vertebra that is impacting a nerve root in the spinal cord. Minimally invasive stabilization is an outpatient alternative for patients who would otherwise require a traditional open spine fusion.