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If medications or physical therapy don’t provide relief from your back pain, you may need surgery. Fortunately, modern methods ― such as laser spine surgery ― have greatly improved how back surgery is performed. Laser spine surgery allows for smaller incisions, less blood loss, and shorter recovery times. 

Our orthopaedic specialist Bonaventure Ngu, MD, at Premier Spine Institute uses laser spine surgery to treat many neck and back conditions. He may be able to use this advanced technology to help you, too.

Back surgery basics

Back pain affects almost everyone at some point in their life. In most cases, the discomfort resolves on its own with at-home care within a few days or a few weeks. However, not everyone is so fortunate.

For about 20% of people, acute back pain turns into a chronic pain condition, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Many people get some relief through medications or physical therapy. However, if back pain persists, surgery may be the next step.

The goal of back surgery is to address the underlying cause of the pain. In most cases, the pain, numbness, and tingling sensations that travel down the arms or legs are caused by a herniated disc or bone spurs. Some of the traditional back surgery options that can alleviate nerve compression include:

  • Discectomy 
  • Laminectomy
  • Fusion
  • Placement of an artificial disc

With advances in surgical techniques, many of these procedures are performed using minimally invasive surgery. Though less invasive than traditional open back surgery, your recovery from some of these minimally invasive surgeries may take a few months. With laser spine surgery, however, recovery times are often even shorter. 

Laser spine surgery

Laser spine surgery is considered a type of minimally invasive procedure. However, the incisions we make with the advanced surgical tool are even smaller than those needed for traditional minimally invasive procedures. This means there’s less blood, less trauma, and a shorter recovery time.

During laser spine surgery, Dr. Ngu uses the laser energy to repair the herniated discs and relieve the pressure on your compressed nerves. The energy produced by the laser also stimulates the growth of healthy, new cells to support the healing process. 

Is laser spine surgery right for you?

We can only determine if laser spine surgery is right for you after we perform a comprehensive exam. This would include a review of your symptoms and medical history, a physical exam, and diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, MRIs, or CT scans. Laser spine surgery is only recommended if conservative treatments fail to alleviate your pain or we feel that the procedure is the best option for relieving your pain and restoring your mobility.

Some of the spinal conditions we treat with laser spine surgery include:

Though laser spine surgery can treat many causes of back pain, it may not make the best choice for everyone, especially for men and women with complex back problems. Dr. Ngu is an experienced orthopaedic surgeon who performs many types of surgical procedures, and he may recommend other minimally invasive options to relieve your pain, restore your mobility, and improve your quality of life.

To learn more about laser spine surgery and to see if it can help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.

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