L5–S1 fusion surgery — are there minimally invasive options?

If you are considering elective open L5–S1 fusion surgery for the treatment of a degenerative spine condition, you have likely been struggling with pain and other symptoms in your lower back for quite some time. This type of procedure is designed to treat conditions affecting the area between the fifth, or lowest, vertebra in the lumbar (lower) spine and the top portion of the sacral region connecting the base of the spine to the pelvis. Conservative treatments can be helpful for these conditions, but if you and your doctor have decided they have been fully explored without bringing the relief you need for a good quality of life, surgery may be recommended.

As you research whether or not this type of procedure is right for you, keep in mind that there are different options to choose from. While a traditional open spine fusion requires hospitalization, a large incision and a fairly lengthy rehabilitation, there are minimally invasive options performed in an outpatient setting that is an alternative. Evaluating both types of fusion should be an important part of your decision-making process.

Minimally invasive lumbar fusion

An alternative to traditional open spine L5–S1 fusion surgery is minimally invasive stabilization, which is an outpatient approach to spinal fusion offered by Laser Spine Institute. A traditional open spine fusion requires a longer incision, which can be 5 to 6 inches or more, to gain access to the affected area of the spine. A minimally invasive fusion, however, uses direct visualization and magnification technology, which allows the surgeon to view the interior of the spine on a video monitor and requires a smaller incision, about 1 inch in length. Since there is far less tissue trauma involved, patients who undergo minimally invasive fusions generally enjoy a much shorter and less painful recovery than they would after a traditional open spine surgery.^

Minimally invasive fusions may be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Bulging discs
  • Herniated discs
  • Pars defects that can cause vertebral slippage
  • Sciatica
  • Degenerative scoliosis
  • Spinal stenosis

Minimally invasive L5–S1 fusion surgery at Laser Spine Institute

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we offer a range of minimally invasive stabilization procedures that are often the clinically appropriate first choice versus traditional open spinal fusions.^ Since 2005 we have been able to help more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain at our state-of-the-art outpatient centers across the United States.

If you are considering L5–S1 fusion surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about your options. We can review your most recent MRI or CT scan at no cost* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.