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Understanding the Side Effects of Laser Spine Surgery vs. Open Spine Surgery


As with any surgical procedure, there are side effects involved with laser spine surgery and open neck or back surgery. Although these procedures generally have the same goal – relieving neck and back pain caused by degenerative spine conditions – each takes a different surgical approach. As a result, the side effects associated with laser spine procedures are different than those associated with open spine surgery.

Common side effects



The side effects of open spine surgery may include:

  • Significant scarring, due to a large incision made in the neck or back
  • A painful, arduous recovery, largely because an operating surgeon must dissect, or cut, soft tissues to access the affected area of the spine and remove large amounts of bone and intervertebral disc tissue
  • The potential to experience continued or worsened symptoms, or the development of new discomfort, following open spine surgery, which is a condition known as failed back surgery syndrome
  • Reduced spinal mobility in cases where spinal fusion was required to stabilize the spine

Side effects of laser spine surgery could include:

  • A small scar due to an incision made in the neck or back that is typically less than one inch in length
  • A faster, less painful recovery than what is associated with an open spine surgery, mostly because a laser procedure is minimally invasive and does not involve the removal of large portions of soft tissues and bone
  • The ability to maintain mobility throughout the spine post-procedure due to the reduced need for spinal fusion, as only portions of anatomical abnormalities that are impinging upon the spinal cord or nerve roots are removed

Who is a candidate for laser spine surgery?



It’s important to keep in mind that not all patients suffering from degenerative neck and back conditions will be candidates for a minimally invasive procedure. At Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, our orthopedic surgeons provide complimentary initial consultations, during which time a patient’s MRIs or CT scans are reviewed to determine candidacy.



To learn more and to schedule your complimentary consultation, contact Laser Spine Institute in Scottsdale, or any other location nationwide. We’ve helped tens of thousands of patients find relief from their neck and back pain with our innovative laser-assisted procedures.

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