Chronic neck or back pain may not only affect your physical health, but it may affect your emotional, mental, and social well-being, too. If conservative medical treatments fail to get you relief from your pain, surgery may be your only option.
Surgery of any kind can cause anxiety and fear, and these feelings may be heightened if you need spine surgery to treat your neck or back. There is, however, some very good news. In many cases, spine issues can be treated with laser spine surgery, which is minimally invasive and causes less trauma and has shorter recovery times than traditional spine surgery.
In this blog, orthopaedic spine surgeon Bonaventure Ngu, MD, at Premier Spine Institute in The Woodlands, Humble, and Baytown, Texas, explains what laser spine surgery is and how it may be able to treat your spine issues.
After months, or even years, of traditional medical treatments to get relief from your back or neck pain, you may find it hard to believe that a minimally invasive surgical procedure can solve your problems. Though we develop personalized treatment plans for each of our patients, we use laser spine surgery to treat many common spine conditions, including:
Though sometimes used interchangeably, laser spine surgery isn’t the same as minimally invasive spine surgery. During laser spine surgery, Dr. Ngu uses a special laser tool to remove the tissue responsible for your pain. With minimally invasive spine surgery, Dr. Ngu uses special surgical tools, such as scalpels and retractors, to perform the procedure. So while laser spine surgery is minimally invasive, not all minimally invasive spine surgeries are performed with a laser.
With laser spine surgery, Dr. Ngu only needs to make very small incisions to perform the procedure. The incisions are even smaller than those created using minimally invasive robotic surgical systems.
Smaller incisions offer many advantages, including:
Laser spine surgery also causes very little trauma to the body, which means less post-surgical pain.
Our laser spine surgery is often an outpatient procedure we conduct using local anesthesia. This means that you’ll likely get to go home the same day as your surgery.
Like any surgical procedure, we’ll send you to the recovery area for monitoring after we’ve completed your laser spine surgery. We’ll then discharge you when you're awake, stable, and your pain is well-controlled.
Recovery time from a traditional or minimally invasive spine surgery could take months. However, with a laser spine surgery, you may be able to resume most of your usual activities within 4-6 weeks of your procedure.
Though we may recommend some activity modification, you may even be able to get back to work within 1-2 weeks, especially if you have a sedentary job. Do note that these are general guidelines and every case is different. We’ll develop a recovery plan for you based on your specific health and wellness needs.
We want nothing more than to provide you with the treatment you need to get relief from your neck or back pain. To learn more about laser spine surgery, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.