L5-S1 fusion surgery and reducing the risk of failed back surgery syndrome

Failed back surgery syndrome (FBSS) is a risk associated with open spine L5-S1 fusion surgery due to the highly invasive nature of the procedure. FBSS can take a variety of forms. It can develop as a return of the original symptoms or new symptoms above or below the surgical site. Some patients also experience anxiety, depression or an inability to regain mobility after surgery. FBSS can also occur after spinal fusion due to bone graft failure. The risk of FBSS is relatively high for open spine surgeries like fusion because a large incision and muscle disruption are required.

If you are considering an L5-S1 procedure it is important to understand the full range of treatment options and the comparative risks and benefits involved. This information can help you and your doctor choose a procedure with the best chance of getting you back to a higher quality of life and avoiding FBSS.

Minimally invasive fusion alternatives

Thanks to advances in medical technology, spinal fusion surgeries also can be performed using a minimally invasive surgical approach. One advantage of opting for this minimally invasive approach to L5-S1 fusion is the reduced risk of FBSS. Minimally invasive fusion procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis and also offer the following advantages over open spinal fusion:

  • Only a small, muscle-sparing incision is required
  • Shorter recovery period^
  • Reduced risk of a hospital-based infection

In addition to lowering the risk of FBSS, outpatient alternatives to open spine L5-S1 fusion have less risk of nerve damage and scar tissue formation.

Learn more at Laser Spine Institute

Laser Spine Institute performs minimally invasive stabilization surgery that is an alternative to traditional open spinal fusion procedures. By using state-of-the-art technology, such as direct viewing equipment and dilating tubes, our board-certified+ surgeons can access the spine, decompress nerves and insert stabilizing hardware through a small incision.

Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from debilitating lower back pain without the need for a highly invasive open spine surgery. We perform thousands of minimally invasive spine surgeries each year as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.^

To learn more, contact Laser Spine Institute for no-cost MRI review* to see if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.