What is fusion surgery?

Spinal fusion is a type of spine surgery that removes a damaged disc or vertebra and replaces it with an artificial disc, bone grafts and/or a metal cage, depending on the type of fusion performed.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a minimally invasive stabilization surgery, or spinal fusion, to help treat severe spine conditions. Minimally invasive stabilization surgery is a state-of-the-art procedure that is performed on an outpatient basis and provides an alternative to traditional open neck or back spinal fusion. Specifically, minimally invasive stabilization (MIS) is used to treat nerve compression in the neck or back that is caused by sciatica, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis and severe degenerative disc disease, among other spinal conditions.

What are the advantages of an MIS procedure?

Spinal fusion is often associated with an unnecessary increase in postoperative complications and infection, as well as failed back surgery syndrome. This is because traditional spinal fusion requires a very large incision that cuts through the muscles surrounding the spine. Unlike traditional open neck or back spinal fusion, an MIS procedure has the following advantages:

  • Performed in an outpatient setting
  • Requires a small incision
  • Poses a reduced risk for infection
  • Shorter recovery time^ than traditional fusion
  • Higher patient satisfaction score

During our minimally invasive stabilization procedure, the surgeon will replace a damaged disc, for example, with an artificial disc through a small incision in the back. This will relieve the pressure of the damaged disc on a pinched nerve root and also stabilize the spine to help prevent future damage in that area.

Who qualifies for an MIS procedure?

Spine surgery of any type is typically a treatment of last resort, saved for patients who have found little to no relief from conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Many patients will be advised to follow a conservative treatment regimen — which may include physical therapy or the use of over-the-counter, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for instance — for several weeks or months before surgical treatment becomes an option. Even then, not all patients who are advised to consider surgical treatment are candidates for MIS; candidacy is determined on a case-by-case basis.

To learn more about minimally invasive stabilization surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. We’ll gladly provide your MRI or CT scan review to determine if you’re a candidate for one of our state-of-the-art outpatient procedures.