Disc fusion surgery options

Minimally invasive disc removal and spinal fusion surgery for a bulging disc

In the past, if a physician recommended disc removal and spinal fusion surgery for a patient experiencing symptoms related to a bulging disc, the only choice was traditional open back surgery. These procedures require large incisions that sever supporting muscles, requiring overnight hospitalization and a long recovery period before normal activity can be fully resumed.

State-of-the-art technology and the development of surgical techniques have made a more minimally invasive approach to spinal fusion possible. Minimally invasive spine surgery uses a smaller incision which is less disruptive to muscle and other soft tissue. This allows procedures to be performed at an outpatient center, where there is less risk of infection. Patients also typically enjoy a much shorter recovery period^ compared to traditional open back fusions.

Anatomy of a bulging disc and its chronic symptoms

When considering surgical options to treat a bulging disc, it can be helpful to learn what causes this condition and how symptoms occur. Here is an overview:

  • As the body ages, the parts of the spine — including the spinal discs — begin to deteriorate.
  • The disc’s outer wall weakens and gets pushed out of its normal boundary by pressure from the vertebrae above and below.
  • If a portion of the disc’s ballooning outer wall makes contact with a nearby spinal nerve root, it can cause both local pain, as well as shooting pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness in the extremities.

Many patients are able to find acceptable symptom relief from a physician-prescribed course of conservative treatments like rest or physical therapy. However, disc removal and vertebral fusion surgery can be recommended when pain and symptoms remain debilitating after several weeks or months of conservative treatment.

Where to turn for help

If your doctor or spine specialist is recommending surgery for your bulging disc, contact Laser Spine Institute. We are the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75,000 patients to date. Our highly skilled team of surgeons can perform minimally invasive stabilization, an alternative to a traditional open spinal fusion procedure, at our comfortable outpatient centers across the United States.

To learn if you’re a candidate for our procedures, reach out to our Care Team today to receive your no-cost MRI review.*