Spinal fusion surgery — overview and alternatives

Patients recommended for a spinal fusion to treat chronic neck or back pain might be feeling overwhelmed and slightly helpless at the daunting thought of undergoing a spinal fusion surgery. Spinal fusion has become a last resort treatment for many patients suffering from debilitating neck and back pain. Over the years, treatments like traditional open back fusion have painted a negative picture of spine surgery that is often associated with high risks and lengthy recovery periods.

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the fear that is associated with spinal fusion surgery. Our surgeons know that patients deserve to regain their quality of life from their conditions without the high risks and complications associated with traditional open back fusion. That is why our minimally invasive stabilization surgery offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back fusion.^

Our muscle-sparing procedures have named us the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Each year, our highly skilled surgeons perform thousands of minimally invasive spine surgeries at our state-of-the-art surgery centers. If you have been recommended for spinal fusion surgery, we encourage you to contact our dedicated team today.

Our goal is to provide patient-centered care, which means you will be informed and educated about your spine condition and the treatment options available to you. We believe that each patient should have a comprehensive knowledge of their spine condition so you can make the best decision about the treatment plan that fits your needs.

A clinically appropriate alternative to traditional spinal fusion^

For years, patients only had one option for spinal fusion surgery — traditional open back fusion. During a traditional open back fusion, the surgeon makes a large incision down the back, usually about 6 to 8 inches in length. The muscles and small tissues surrounding the spine are cut and torn in an effort to reach the spine.

This is one of the major differences between traditional spine fusion and our minimally invasive stabilization surgery. The muscles surrounding the spine are meant to help support the body weight and stabilize the spine. By cutting these muscles, patients experience a longer recovery time to let the muscles repair themselves before the patient can resume normal activity.

Cutting the muscles also puts the patient at a higher risk of infection and complication because the spine is not receiving adequate support during the recovery period. This is due to the fact that the muscles cannot bear any weight from the body, meaning the spine is now solely supporting the body’s weight and movements.

Once the spine is accessed, the surgeon will remove the diseased portion of the spine, usually a disc or joint, and replace it with an implant that is fused to the two surrounding vertebrae to stabilize the spine. The recovery period for a traditional open back fusion normally ranges from six months to a year, depending on the length of time the muscles around the spine take to fully rebuild and recover.

During our minimally invasive stabilization surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision in the neck or back. The surrounding muscles and soft tissue will be moved aside, undisturbed, to access the spine. Using precision techniques and tools, the surgeon will remove the infected area of the spine and replace it with a small implant, which is fused to the surrounding vertebrae for stabilization.

At Laser Spine Institute 70 percent of patients who have undergone our minimally invasive stabilization surgery have reported returning to work within three months after surgery and 83 percent of our patients have reported returning to daily activities within three months after surgery.^

The minimally invasive stabilization surgeries we perform at Laser Spine Institute include:

The type of surgery you receive will be determined by your spine condition and medical history. Ask for a free MRI review* prior to scheduling your surgery to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

Advantages of Laser Spine Institute

At Laser Spine Institute, our patients experience the difference in our services the moment they step through the doors of one of our surgery centers located throughout the country. We are committed to patient-centered care, which means you will be provided with the best care and service in a compassionate and comfortable environment.

Advantages of Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery:

  • No lengthy recovery^
  • Patient satisfaction score of 98^
  • Board-certified surgeons+
  • Less than 1-inch incision
  • Outpatient procedure
  • cms:statsTag key=“patientRecommendation” /> patient recommendation rate^

To learn more about the advantages of our procedures, reach out to us today. We are here to help inform you and guide you to the best treatment option for your needs. Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain, and we are confident that we can help you reclaim your life from chronic pain.