Problems with a spinal disc — can fusion help?

By Michael Perry, M.D.

Many patients with a collapsed, herniated or bulging spinal disc are recommended for a spinal fusion as a means of surgically addressing their degenerative spine condition. For years, traditional open spine fusion surgery has often been the only surgery available to patients who have these or other spine conditions, like sciatica, spinal stenosis and spinal arthritis. For severe spinal disc issues, a fusion typically involves removal of the damaged disc and the insertion of a bone graft and other stabilizing hardware in the disc space.

However, advances in medical technology and surgical techniques have now made it possible for patients to undergo minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open back fusions. While not all patients are candidates for minimally invasive procedures, the potential benefits make these procedures worth exploring.

About spinal fusion

If you are considering a spinal disc surgery, such as a fusion, it is important to gather all of the facts so you can make an informed, confident decision. Traditional open spinal fusion surgery is a highly invasive procedure that is performed in an inpatient setting, which means patients usually remain in the hospital for several days following the surgery. Open spine surgery also involves:

  • A large incision
  • Disruption of muscle tissue
  • The removal of a significant portion of the spinal anatomy
  • The risk of infection, nerve damage and failed back surgery syndrome
  • A long recovery period

Minimally invasive alternatives

Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to traditional open spine fusions with our minimally invasive stabilization surgery. While these outpatient stabilization surgeries have the same goals as open spine fusion — to decompress spinal nerves and stabilize the spine— we use a far less invasive means. Our board-certified surgeons+ can access the spine, remove the anatomy putting pressure on the disc and stabilize the region, all through a small muscle-sparing incision. Patients who undergo minimally invasive stabilization at Laser Spine Institute face fewer risks and enjoy a shorter recovery time^ than those who undergo traditional open spinal fusion surgery.

To learn more about our minimally invasive spinal disc surgery as an alternative to traditional open spine fusion, contact Laser Spine Institute. We offer a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.