When it comes to minor spinal issues, patients must decide between laser spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. Each case is different, so it is important to discuss your case with a qualified orthopedic surgeon to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for laser spine surgery.
What Makes Laser Spine Surgery Different?
In order to minimalize trauma and reduce complications, many spine surgeons choose minimally invasive spine surgery to correct minor issues with the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery uses smaller incisions, which reduces pain, blood loss, and recovery time. In most cases, an endoscope or operating microscope is inserted into the incision to guide the surgeon’s hand as he or she performs the procedure.
Laser spine surgery is very similar to minimally invasive spine surgery and, in fact, it is often done right alongside minimally invasive procedures. In order to perform laser spine surgery, a small incision must be made so the laser can be inserted into the correct area. The laser is used instead of a scalpel to make any necessary cuts, but other instruments will still be needed to remove ligaments and bones.
Risks and Benefits
Laser spine surgery can be used to correct a number of spinal problems, such as damaged intervertebral discs. Unfortunately, laser spine surgery will not work for major spine conditions like herniated discs or pinched nerves. Even though laser spine surgery is minimally invasive, there are still several risks involved. Lasers cannot be manipulated around corners and angles as well as traditional tools because they are completely straight. It is also important to consider that lasers produce a certain amount of heat, which can damage nearby nerves if not used with caution. A surgical laser also comes with a fixed length; if it is held in the same place for too long, it could damage underlying structures in addition to making the desired cut. Because the risks associated with laser spine surgery are so serious, it is only recommended for very minor spine conditions.
What to Expect from Jersey Spine Associates
Because laser spine surgery is still fairly new, you want to make sure that you choose a surgeon who is highly qualified to perform the procedure. When you work with Jersey Spine Associates, you can rest easy knowing that we are the best in the business. Dr. Ponnappan, our in-house orthopedic spine surgeon, is highly decorated and very knowledgeable with all kinds of spinal surgery, including laser spine surgery.
When you choose Jersey Spine Associates, we will go over your treatment options in detail and address any questions or concerns you may have. On the day of your surgery we will go over the details of the procedure so you know exactly what to expect, and we will be with you every step of the way. During your recovery, our professional staff will always be just a phone call away to provide the support you need.