Ruptured disc treatment — vertebral stabilization surgery

Vertebral stabilization at Laser Spine Institute can be achieved using our state-of-the-art, minimally invasive spine surgery — a surgical option that offers many benefits compared to traditional open spine procedures. Stabilization surgery, also known as spinal fusion, is required when nerve decompression requires the removal of a large amount of tissue, such as a spinal disc. The lower spine can often require this type of procedure because it supports your body weight while remaining flexible enough for basic movements. Years of this constant pressure can lead to degenerative conditions that disrupt spinal nerves and may eventually require vertebral stabilization surgery.

One condition that may develop in the lower back is a ruptured disc. The spinal discs are soft, spongy pads located between each vertebra to absorb shock and allow movement. Throughout adulthood, these discs can begin to degenerate by losing water content and elasticity.

Eventually, the outer wall of a disc may tear, causing inner fluid to leak out — also known as a herniated or ruptured disc. The symptoms of a ruptured disc — like pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness — can often be successfully treated with a combination of nonsurgical treatments. In severe cases, a surgical procedure like transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) may be recommended if a patient is unable to find relief with a more conservative approach.

What is involved in vertebral stabilization surgery like TLIF?

At Laser Spine Institute, we perform a minimally invasive TLIF, which can treat a severely damaged disc, by fully removing the damaged disc through a small, muscle-sparing incision. An implant and bone graft are then inserted to promote stabilization. A minimally invasive procedure like this offers a variety of benefits over a highly invasive traditional open spine procedure, including:

  • An outpatient setting. This helps our patients avoid hospital-associated costs. Patients are encouraged to walk the day of surgery,^ while open spine fusion generally requires several days of hospitalization.
  • A small incision. Our minimally invasive TLIF only requires a small, muscle-sparing incision. Open spine surgery requires a large, muscle-disrupting incision.
  • Less risk. Due to its minimally invasive nature, TLIF at Laser Spine Institute poses less risk of complication and infection.

The recovery process

The recovery process after minimally invasive vertebral stabilization is different for everyone, but can typically take anywhere from six to eight weeks. Your surgeon will provide you with instructions for recovery and refer you to a physical therapist, if necessary.

To find out if you may be a candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review.*