Laser spine surgery is a minimally invasive technique that is used to treat spinal conditions. This type of surgery has many benefits, including a shorter recovery time.
A laser is a beam of light that can be used for cutting soft tissue in the body. Surgical lasers are not able to cut through bone, therefore they are not used in procedures such as a spinal decompression.
Laser spine surgery has some benefits that traditional spine surgery does not. The minimally invasive procedure often requires less recovery time. The patient may have less scarring after a laser spine surgery. Laser spine surgery is most often done under deep intravenous sedation instead of general anaesthesia, reducing the risks of anaesthesia complications.
Many types of conditions may warrant the use of laser surgery. Surgical repair of a herniated disc, surgery for spinal stenosis and surgery to relieve pressure from pinched nerves are a few conditions that may be treated with this type of surgery.
Typically, physiotherapy begins as soon as the day after laser spine surgery. This helps to increase the patient's mobility. Most patients have a 10- to 15-pound lifting limit following surgery for at least six weeks. Patients may return to work within this six-week period, depending on the nature of their work. Patients with more strenuous jobs may have lifting restrictions when they return to work for an indefinite period of time.
Laser spine surgery is considered generally safe and effective. Some spinal conditions, however, may require traditional open back surgery. It is important to discuss all of these options with your doctor prior to spine surgery.