Types of back operations

Patients evaluating the different types of back operations available to them to treat chronic neck or back pain can benefit from research about the risks and benefits of each procedure. Getting a variety of opinions from different spine specialists will also be an important part of the decision-making process. In general, spine surgeries for degenerative spine conditions can now be approached two ways: traditional open spine surgery or minimally invasive spine surgery. Minimally invasive spine procedures use muscle-sparing techniques that allow for a smaller incision and can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Traditional open spine surgery

As the name suggests, a traditional open spine surgery is a highly invasive procedure. Overnight hospitalization is required for these back operations and patients often remain in the hospital for two or three days following the procedure. During an open back procedure, a large incision is required and muscle tissues are disrupted to access the spine and provide the surgeon with a view of the spinal anatomy. Traditional open spine surgery involves risk of infection, nerve damage, scar tissue formation and failed back surgery syndrome. The recovery period after open back operations can be long and painful. Some individuals take up to a year to return to a full range of activities.

Minimally invasive spine surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery is a less invasive approach to back operations that can be performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients are able to walk and return home a few hours after surgery. A small incision is made in the neck or back, through which direct visualization tools and other small surgical equipment are funneled through a series of dilating tubes to the area needing treatment. Muscles, ligaments and tendons are moved aside, not cut, which greatly reduces the risk of permanent damage. Due to the minimally invasive nature of these back operations, including the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute, patients enjoy a shorter recovery time compared to traditional procedures.^

Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and we’ve helped thousands of patients find relief since 2005. To learn more about the advantages we offer our patients with our streamlined, outpatient procedures, contact us today.

Ask a member of our caring team for a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.