Surgical treatments for spinal arthritis are used in cases where conservative, non-surgical treatments have been exhausted and the patient still has chronic or acute pain and limited mobility. Depending on the severity of the condition, the surgical treatment will involve decompression and possibly a spinal fusion.
“Decompression surgery” is a broad term used to describe a number of procedures that are designed to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord. During a decompression, a surgeon will remove any bone tissue, disc materials or other debris placing pressure on the nerve root and spinal cord to relieve spine arthritis symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the back or extremities. Common decompression surgeries include laminectomy, foraminectomy, discectomy, and others.
Sometimes an open-back decompression surgery will leave the spine unstable or structurally unsound, depending on the type of procedure performed. In this case, the patient may require a spinal fusion. During a spinal fusion, bone grafts or hardware such as screws and rods are inserted into the spine for support and to allow two or more vertebra to grow together as a single unit.
Spinal fusion and open decompression are both accompanied by negative side effects. Both are generally performed in a hospital using general anesthesia. All open spinal surgeries also involve large incisions with damage to muscle other tissue. Therefore infection risk is higher and the recovery time is longer with open spinal surgery than with minimally invasive spinal surgery.
Laser Spine Institute is the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive surgical treatments for spinal arthritis are performed in an outpatient environment and require less anesthesia. These procedures use state-of-the-art technology to allow for a drastically shorter recovery time than traditional open back surgery. Laser Spine Institute regularly performs these surgeries for spinal arthritis and a number of other neck and back problems. If surgical intervention has been suggested to you, contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our services or to arrange a complimentary review of your existing MRI or CT scan.