Are there any alternatives to traditional spinal fusion?

Spinal fusion surgery is sometimes used to treat severe degenerative spine conditions when nonsurgical treatments provide little to no relief after several weeks or months.

For many patients, traditional spinal fusion is a source of fear and anxiety because this procedure is often associated with a high risk of complications such as infection and failed back surgery syndrome. It also requires several days of hospitalization, which can increase medical bills and add to the discomfort of being away from your own home.

These risks associated with traditional spinal fusion are less likely to occur during an alternative fusion procedure — minimally invasive stabilization surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery offers patients a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery. Our caring and dedicated team is here to help you better understand your options and we encourage you to contact us with any questions you have.

Traditional open spinal fusions

A traditional open spinal fusion operation requires a large and deep incision that disrupts the muscles in the neck or back. These muscles support the spine, and when they are cut and torn, patients can endure a long recovery time while the muscles heal with the spine.

Once the muscles are torn and the spine is accessed, the surgeon then removes the deteriorated disc and replaces it with a metal cage. Bulky hardware is used to attach the cage to the vertebrae directly above and below. Once the spinal fusion is complete, the surgeon closes the incision with several stitches.

Patients who undergo traditional fusions generally remain hospitalized for two to five days and face a lengthy rehabilitation as the disrupted muscles heal. The operation leaves patients with sizable scars, which can increase the risk of post-surgical complications such as failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS), which is the continuation or worsening of symptoms following spine surgery.

Minimally invasive alternatives

Laser Spine Institute offers a minimally invasive stabilization procedure as an alternative to traditional open spine fusion. By using muscle-sparing techniques our surgeons can help our patients to experience a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication^ compared to patients who undergo traditional spinal fusion.

For more information about our minimally invasive alternatives to traditional spinal fusion surgeries, reach out to Laser Spine Institute. We can provide a free MRI or CT scan review* and determine if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.