Neck and back surgery — incision for surgery overview

When researching spine surgery, most patients experience some concern about the actual incision that will be made in the neck or back to perform the surgery. The length and location of the incision is determined by the type of spine condition and the location of the spine condition. Regardless, facing a large, 6- to 10-inch incision in the back for traditional open back surgery is a potentially scary thought.

At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the concern you have about your spine surgery incision. A larger incision leaves more room for infection, complications and prolonged recovery time. We believe that there is a safer, more efficient way to perform spine surgery. That is why we offer a safer, more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is performed through a small, 1-inch incision using perfected precision techniques and tools that have earned us the title of leader in minimally invasive spine surgery.

As you continue to research spine surgery options, we encourage you to reach out to our care team with any questions. We are here to help you find the best treatment solution for your needs so you can find relief from your chronic neck or back pain.

Traditional open back surgery

Traditional open back surgery is often a very invasive procedure, starting with a large incision cut down the back. The incision is usually 6 to 10 inches in length and cuts through the muscles and soft tissue surrounding the spine.

The muscles surrounding the spine help to support the spine by sharing the weight of the body. If the muscles are cut, they can no longer support the body’s weight until the muscles rebuild and heal. During that time, the spine is solely supporting the majority of the body’s weight, which causes compression of the vertebrae and discs in the spine. This can lead to complications and failed surgeries because compressing the vertebrae of the spine is counterintuitive to having an effective postoperative recovery.

During our minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute, the surgeon begins with a small, 1-inch incision in the neck or back. The muscles and soft tissues around the spine are spared, gently being pushed aside so the surgeon can access the spine. This technique allows our patients to experience a significantly shorter recovery time§ than patients who undergo traditional open back surgery.

We offer minimally invasive decompression surgery for milder spine conditions and minimally invasive stabilization surgery for more progressive spine conditions. All surgeries are performed through a 1-inch incision and take place in one of our world-class outpatient surgery centers across the country.

If you would like to learn more about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute, please contact our care team. We’ve helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck and back pain, and we are confident we can help you find pain relief so you can return to life.