Spinal fusion — minimally invasive spinal fusion vs traditional fusion

Spinal fusion is generally considered a last option for chronic neck or back treatment. If you find yourself faced with a recommendation for spinal fusion, you might feel an array 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 believe in 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. We treat each patient like we treat our loved ones — with care and respect. As you continue to research spinal fusions, we invite you to reach out to us with your questions so you can make an informed decision that is best for your needs.

Spinal Fusion Basics

The purpose of a spinal fusion is to stabilize the spine and relieve pain by removing a portion of a bone or disc that is impacting a nerve and inserting an implant to offer immediate stabilization. There are two different approaches to spinal fusion: traditional open back spinal fusion and minimally invasive spinal fusion. It is important for you to know your 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 sizable 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 of the spine. Once the damaged part of the spine is accessed, the deteriorated disc between the vertebrae is carefully removed and replaced — usually with a bone graft — and further surgical hardware is installed to stabilize the spine and help the affected vertebrae to grow into a solid piece of bone. The recovery period following a traditional open back spinal fusion usually lasts between six months to a year.

Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer an effective alternative to traditional open back spinal fusion. Our minimally invasive spinal fusion is performed in one of our state-of-the-art surgical centers as an outpatient procedure. That means that our patients are able to leave the same day as their surgery. During our procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision, usually about 1-inch in length to access the spine. Through the use of our advanced techniques and technology, the surrounding muscles and soft tissue are left undisturbed while we access the spine. Once the diseased disc is removed, we insert an implant to immediately stabilize the spine. The recovery period for our minimally invasive spinal surgery usually lasts about six to eight weeks.

We are recognized as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery because our incomparable care and precision yield a 98 patient satisfaction score^. Here are just a few other advantages of Laser Spine Institute:

  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Less than 1-inch incision (small incision for minimally invasive stabilization surgery)
  • Minimally invasive outpatient procedure
  • Board-certified surgeons+
  • 0.29 percent infection rate,^ compared to the national average of up to 19 percent

If you are interested in learning more about our minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery, please contact our Spine Care Consultants. We can help you schedule a review of your MRI to determine your candidacy for our procedures. Let us help you take some of the fear away from spinal fusion surgery by offering an effective, minimally invasive alternative.