If you’re one of the 31 million Americans who suffers from chronic back pain and you haven’t been able to find relief, you may wonder what your options are. Sure, there’s traditional back surgery, but what if you don’t want an invasive surgery with a long recovery and no guarantee of success? What if you’ve already had an open back surgery? Are there other choices?
At Premier Spine Institute, we can discuss minimally invasive options like laser spine surgery when other options haven’t worked. While laser spine surgery may sound like a solution to your back problems — and it may be — it’s not the right procedure for everyone, and many people aren’t candidates for the procedure.
We work with each patient determine the best course of action and together decide if laser spine surgery can help. Keep reading to learn what circumstances might mean you’re a good candidate for this less-invasive surgery.
Laser spine surgery works to address the root cause of your back pain, which in most cases is either a compressed nerve or interference from a bone causing a painful motion. Laser surgery can fix these types of issues, but you must have a diagnosis and a pathological cause of your pain.
Back pain isn’t enough to be a candidate for the procedure. Common conditions that do make you a candidate for laser spine surgery include herniated or bulging discs, sciatica, degenerative discs, spinal stenosis, spinal tumors, and arthritis.
Once you have a treatable diagnosis, we discuss how your back pain manifests and how it impacts your life. If you only have occasional pain and are rarely immobilized by your back pain, laser spine surgery may not be the right treatment. Spinal surgery of any sort comes with risks, and if your back pain doesn’t interfere with your everyday living, the benefit may not outway the risks.
However, if your back pain regularly makes you miss work or interferes with how you sleep, walk, sit, or stand, spinal surgery may work to reduce your back pain. This minimally invasive procedure can restore your function and get you back to living your life the way you were meant to.
Spinal surgery, whether laser or open, is rarely the first course of treatment. At Premier Spine Institute, we always work with patients to find the most minimally invasive treatment possible.
In many cases, this includes things like physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and yoga. We may suggest combining physical activities with nutritional supplements, over-the-counter pain relievers, or spinal injections.
If you’ve tried these methods and they bring you pain relief, you should continue with these treatments. But when they don’t relieve your back pain, we may recommend more aggressive measures like laser spine surgery.
Maybe you’ve had a traditional open back surgery, which involves a lengthy hospital stay and recovery period, but it didn’t work to relieve your pain. That doesn’t mean you’re not a candidate for laser spine surgery. We see many patients who’ve had a failed back surgery yet found pain relief with laser surgery at Premier Spine Institute.
When you opt for laser spine surgery, you minimize the trauma to your healthy tissues while improving how your spine functions. You get a faster recovery, a smaller incision, and a shorter hospital stay (sometimes even outpatient) than with traditional surgery.
While some people aren’t candidates, many are. Talk to your orthopedic spine surgeon today to learn more.