Treating severe degenerative disc disease with minimally invasive stabilization

By Michael Perry, M.D.

If you have been told that full disc removal and spinal fusion is necessary to treat chronic, painful symptoms related to degenerative disc disease, (DDD) it’s important to explore all of the available options so you can make an informed treatment decision. As an alternative to traditional open spine fusion procedures, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive stabilization surgery that offers many advantages to our patients.

For a long time, the only way to perform a fusion surgery was with a highly invasive procedure that involved a large incision and significant muscle disruption. This in turn would require overnight hospitalization, risk of complications and a long recovery period. These difficulties lead many patients to avoid surgery and live with chronic pain that affects their quality of life. The following information can help you better understand degenerative disc disease as well as the benefits that minimally invasive stabilization can offer in the treatment of this condition.

How minimally invasive stabilization can help DDD patients

DDD is usually diagnosed when normal age-related deterioration of spinal discs causes nerve compression resulting in pain and other symptoms like tingling and numbness in the extremities. This condition can affect the long-term stability of the spine and can lead to related conditions like herniated discs and bone spurs.

In many cases of DDD, symptoms can be managed successfully using a combination of conservative treatment methods as recommended by a physician. However, if a standard treatment plan is not effective after at least six weeks, your doctor may refer you to a specialist to explore your surgical options. In more severe cases of spinal instability, you may be recommended to undergo a fusion procedure. The goal of this type of surgery is to fully remove a damaged disc, decompress any constricted nerves and stabilize the spinal segment by implanting bone graft material to fuse together surrounding vertebrae.

Minimally invasive stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute accomplishes the same basic goals as a traditional fusion, while offering the following advantages to our patients:

  • An outpatient procedure
  • A small incision, about an inch in length
  • No lengthy recovery

How to get help and more information

For more information on our minimally invasive stabilization procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We are the leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75,000 patients to date. Our dedicated team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.