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 performed on an outpatient basis and provides a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back spinal fusion.^

Specifically, minimally invasive stabilization 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. As you research whether minimally invasive stabilization is the right procedure for you, we encourage you to contact our dedicated team with any questions or concerns regarding your condition or our procedures. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.

What are the advantages of a minimally invasive stabilization 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, a minimally invasive stabilization procedure has the following advantages:

  • Patient satisfaction score of 96 ^
  • Requires a small incision
  • Poses a reduced risk for infection
  • Shorter recovery time than traditional fusion^
  • Performed by board-certified surgeons+
  • Patient recommendation score of 97 out of 100^

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 on the damaged disc on a pinched nerve root and also stabilize the spine to help prevent future damage in that area. As a result, 70 percent of our stabilization patients report returning to work within three months after surgery.^

Who qualifies for a minimally invasive stabilization 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 treatments. Many patients will be advised to follow a conservative treatment regimen, which may include physical therapy or the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

This treatment is typically attempted for several weeks or months before surgical treatment becomes an option. Even then, not all patients who are advised surgery are candidates for minimally invasive stabilization, as it is determined on a case-by-case basis. Through a no-cost MRI review* of your spine, our team will be able to determine if minimally invasive stabilization would be effective for you.