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Minimally Invasive Fusion Surgery Performed by Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeons in Houston, TX

Spinal fusion surgery can add support and stability to a weakened spinal column. There are two main approaches to this type of surgery: minimally invasive and traditional. When fusion surgery is appropriate, the minimally invasive approach offers several benefits over the traditional approach, including a smaller incision, less disruption to surrounding muscles and tissues, a lower risk of complications, a faster recovery and minimal scarring.

What can cause the spine to weaken and become unstable?

Certain medical conditions can allow excessive vertebral movement, which can stretch and weaken the surrounding muscles, ligaments and nerves, sometimes causing pain and instability. For instance, spinal osteoarthritis can cause the cartilage in the spinal facet joints to break down and wear away, leading to painful bone-on-bone contact. Other examples include:

  • Degenerative disc disease
  • A lumbar herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Adult scoliosis
  • A vertebral fracture
  • A spinal infection
  • A spinal tumor

What are the treatment options for spinal instability?

Excessive vertebral movement can cause significant back pain and other uncomfortable symptoms. Before recommending spinal fusion surgery to address these issues, however, many physicians advise their patients to try conservative treatments, such as medications and physical therapy, which can sometimes be very effective. In general, if nonsurgical treatment does not provide meaningful symptom relief within several months, surgery may be considered. For instance, a spinal fusion procedure can relieve pain by reducing vertebral movement, but this type of surgery is not effective or appropriate for treating all types of back pain.

If you’ve been advised to consider spine surgery, be sure to explore all of your options – which may include minimally invasive fusion surgery – before making any final decisions. Recent advances in surgical technology and instrumentation have increased the ever-growing benefits of minimally invasive spinal fusion. To learn more, schedule an appointment with a spine specialist at Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, who can evaluate your diagnosis and help you determine if this treatment approach is right for you.