You may have seen advertisements touting laser spine surgery as the next big thing in spine surgery. At Summit, we get questions about laser surgery from our patients from time to time.
Here’s the truth: laser spine surgery is not a procedure. It’s marketing hype.
It is true that laser tools are sometimes used during spine surgeries of many kinds — both open procedures and minimally invasive spine surgeries use lasers to burn away tissue. But lasers have very specific, limited uses — there is no procedure that uses a laser alone. And even when a laser is used in a procedure, the procedure still requires an incision, however small.
Some patients come in with the idea that their back or neck pain can be relieved by directing a laser beam at the source of the pain, with no cuts to the skin. This is not possible. Lasers are surgical tools — they are not surgical techniques.
But there is good news. At Summit, we offer a full range of minimally invasive surgical options for the spine, including:
- TLIF (transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion)
- Vertebroplasty and khyphoplasty
Minimally invasive procedures offer a range of benefits, including:
- A shorter hospital stay — patients typically go home the same day
- Reduced risk of complications such as blood loss
- Less postoperative pain and scarring
- Faster recovery and quicker return to full activity
Summit Orthopedics is committed to offering a multidisciplinary approach to spine care, with the most advanced and proven spine treatments available, beginning with conservative, nonsurgical treatment whenever possible. If a conservative treatment plan fails to resolve a problem or provide relief, we may consider surgical options. Talk with your Summit specialist about the right treatment for you.
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise
Summit’s spine care team is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the comprehensive expertise of our patient-centered care. Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
More resources for you
Dr. Wahlquist explains the distinction between “minimal access surgery” and “minimally invasive surgery.”
There’s cachet in describing surgical techniques as “minimally invasive.” But what does this phrase really mean? Spine surgeon Dr. David Strothman describes how the benefits of this surgical approach can vary with the surgeon performing it.
The prospect of spine surgery is unsettling for any patient. Dr. Santos explains the surgical approaches used to correct back problems, and discusses the considerations that come into play when evaluating a traditional versus a minimally invasive surgical approach.