Traditional and alternative surgical treatments for spondylosis
What you need to know about spondylosis surgery
Spondylosis surgery is almost always considered an elective procedure and is only recommended in cases of extreme, debilitating discomfort that has made normal living virtually impossible. Before you are recommended surgery to treat degenerative spine conditions associated with spondylosis (such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease), a course of conservative treatment will likely be attempted. This typically includes physical therapy, pain medication, epidural steroid injections and other nonsurgical methods.
However, if your chronic symptoms continue despite weeks or months of conservative treatment, your doctor may then present surgery as an option. Before you determine if spondylosis surgery is right for you, take a moment to review the potential risks and benefits of the types of surgery available to treat spondylosis. Ask your doctor any questions you may have, and work together to determine your next best step for pain relief.
Drawbacks of traditional open spine spondylosis surgery
Traditional spondylosis surgery is a major commitment, never to be undertaken lightly. Always research the possible risks thoroughly before deciding to undergo traditional open neck or back surgery. Traditional open spine surgery can involve:
- Large incisions, usually five or six inches
- The cutting of muscles and other tissue to provide access to areas of nerve compression
- The implantation of metal or plastic hardware to permanently fuse vertebrae
- Several days of hospitalization
- A long recovery period
- Risk of failed back surgery syndrome
Minimally invasive alternative for spondylosis surgery
Minimally invasive spondylosis surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute involves a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques. This allows our procedures to be performed in an outpatient setting. Because of our minimally invasive approach to spine surgery, recovery is shorter than after traditional open spine surgery.^