Risks of open back fusion surgery

Traditional open back fusion surgery is a highly invasive procedure and, like any surgery, carries a potential for risks as well as benefits.

Before choosing to undergo a traditional open back fusion, be sure you are fully aware of any possible complications that could occur during surgery or afterward. In some cases, surgical complications do not appear until weeks or months after the procedure as the body begins to heal and the bone graft implant tries to fuse.

One of the most common risks associated with open back fusion surgery is failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS). In fact, it is estimated that about 40 percent of patients who undergo traditional open back fusion develop FBSS and the symptoms of pain associated with it.

Failed back surgery syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome is a fairly broad term used to describe the effects of an unsuccessful spine surgery. While the name makes the condition sound like a disease or an illness, it is actually just a way of categorizing any of a wide range of symptoms or complications that can arise after a procedure like traditional open back fusion surgery. Signs of FBSS may include:

  • A return of the original symptoms
  • The onset of new symptoms
  • Difficulty to heal from the surgery
  • Rejection of bone grafts or implants
  • Limited mobility
  • Pain above or below the surgical site
  • Severe pain or loss of sensation in the extremities
  • Psychological symptoms like depression, anxiety or insomnia

Minimally invasive spine stabilization procedures

Patients can reduce their risk of developing FBSS due to a traditional open back fusion by opting for a less invasive procedure. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive stabilization procedures that are aimed at restoring strength to a degenerating spine and relieving painful nerve compression caused by degenerative spine conditions like herniated discs, bulging discs and spinal stenosis.

With the use of state-of-the-art technology, we are able to remove the source of nerve compression without the need for a large incision or the unnecessary disruption of surrounding muscles and soft tissues. In addition to reducing the risk of FBSS, our minimally invasive fusion also lowers the risk of infection and offers patients a shorter recovery period^ compared to traditional open back fusion.

To learn more about minimally invasive back fusion surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today. We can provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.