Alternatives to Spinal Fusion Surgery

Options for Spine Fusion

Many patients undergo spinal fusion surgery to help stabilize the spinal column after discectomy (when degenerative disc disease has weakened the spine) and for spondylolisthesis (when one vertebra bone slips over the top of another vertebra). However, thanks to advancements in technology and new knowledge, spinal surgeons in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and throughout California and the United States are able to offer some patients options besides spinal fusion that can provide more optimal results.

Artificial Disc Replacement

Rather than supporting the spinal column by performing a fusion, surgeons can replace damaged discs with an artificial implant that provides a more naturally fitting alternative to bone grafts and hardware. The artificial disc provides the same shock-absorbing function as a natural, human intervertebral disc and does not interrupt the natural motion of the spine. Artificial disc replacement surgery is an open procedure, and patients usually stay in the hospital one to four days post-op.

Interlaminar Stabilization

A cutting-edge appliance, the interlaminar stabilization device is being used after decompression surgery to permanently maintain the proper distance between vertebrae that were formerly pressing in on each other. The minimally invasive surgery involves the insertion of a small, metal apparatus that is placed between the bones and attached to each vertebra. The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis, and its benefits include:

  • Minimal blood loss
  • Little or no muscle disruption
  • A small, one-inch incision
  • A faster recovery

Stem Cell Therapy

Stem cells that are harvested from the patient’s own body can be used to repair damaged tissues in the spinal column and may replace the need for spinal fusion. After the cells are removed from the patient, they are concentrated and injected into the target area in order to stimulate healthy cell growth. The treatment takes about 30 minutes and is performed in same day surgery units in hospitals and free-standing surgical centers. Click here for more information about available clinical trials in the Los Angeles area.

Patients are now provided with a number of options when surgery is the most appropriate treatment option. If you are living with back or neck pain that prevents you from doing the things you love, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration at 310-828-7757 and schedule an in-person consultation. Dr. Bae specializes in motion-preserving and minimally invasive surgeries.