Minimally invasive spinal fusion versus traditional open fusion

Spinal fusion is generally considered a last resort for treating chronic symptoms related to a spine condition. If you find yourself faced with a recommendation for spinal fusion, you may feel a number of emotions, from confusion to fear. Our goal is to help you combat your anxiety about spinal fusion surgery by explaining the procedure itself and what you can expect to experience before and after the surgery is completed.

At Laser Spine Institute, we are committed to patient-centered care, which means that you will receive personalized attention to answer all of your questions and concerns. We believe that our patients deserve to make educated decisions about their spine care. That is why we take the time to educate and inform our patients about the spine condition and possible treatment options that affect their lives.

Spinal Fusion Basics

The purpose of a spinal fusion is to stabilize the spine and relieve pain by removing a portion of a degenerated bone or disc and replacing it with material to fuse the surrounding vertebrae. There are two main approaches to spinal fusion: traditional open back spinal fusion and minimally invasive spinal fusion. It is important to understand both of these options before deciding which treatment option is right for you.

Traditional Open Back Spinal Fusion

A traditional open back spinal fusion is performed in the hospital and typically requires a two- to three-day postoperative hospital stay. During the surgery, the surgeon will make a large incision along a portion of your back to access the spine. The surrounding muscles and soft tissue will be cut in order to properly access the vertebrae. In a typical fusion, once the spine is accessed, the deteriorated spinal disc is carefully removed and replaced with a bone graft and additional surgical hardware. The goal is to stabilize the spine and help the affected vertebrae to grow into a solid piece of bone.

Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer an alternative to traditional open back spinal fusion. Our minimally invasive stabilization procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in our state-of-the-art surgical centers. During our procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision to access the spine. Through the use of our muscle-sparing techniques, disruption to the surrounding muscles and soft tissue are limited while spinal stabilization is performed.

We are the leaders in minimally invasive spine surgery and our dedication to exceptional care has helped us achieve a patient satisfaction score of 98.^ Advantages of undergoing a procedure at Laser Spine Institute include:

  • No lengthy recovery^
  • A small incision
  • Minimally invasive outpatient procedure
  • Board-certified surgeons+
  • 0.41 percent infection rate, compared to up to 19 percent with other providers

If you are interested in learning more about our minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery, please contact our caring and dedicated team. We can help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.