Laser Spine Surgery is typically performed to relieve pain & various other symptoms by decreasing pressure on compressed nerves or by restoring stability to spine. Discectomy may be performed in order to remove damaged portions of disc within spine in case of ruptured or herniated discs or a laminectomy procedure can be performed so as to remove bone spurs and/or other problematic spinal growths. Spinal fusion surgery can also be performed in cases where spine is unstable so as to secure together, two or more than two vertebral bones to fuse as one. These spinal surgeries are now quite often performed by utilizing minimally invasive techniques which eventually also minimize damage to surrounding tissue while allowing faster recovery alongside much lesser blood loss.
Laser spine surgery is nowadays being promoted as minimally or even noninvasive & risk-free procedure. However, these laser spine surgeries also require incisions & laser itself can sometimes result in serious complications. Moreover, laser spine surgery techniques have never been studied within controlled clinical trials so as to determine its effectiveness. Marketing pitches have however have made bold promises of relieving pain for chronic neck & back pain & quick return within a few days to normal life with laser spine surgery. One thing that this marketing hype has not been able to clear is whether laser spine surgery in fact involves surgical intervention. Nevertheless, truth is that laser spine surgery does involve an incision in order to allow access to spine. A focused beam of laser (light) is subsequently used for removal of disturbing soft tissues over the spine. Bones & ligaments are also then removed as part of an overall spine surgery so as to free nerves from compression with the help of small instruments. However, it is laser in laser spine surgery which plays a very minor role in the entire operation.
Certainly, lasers are not any new technology. They have in fact been available for use in medicine since the year 1973. However, they were not widely adopted as medical tools which were to be used in spine surgeries. Fact remains that most neurosurgeons do not recommend or utilize lasers for spine surgery, simply because there are no clear-cut benefits. Moreover, there are many other documented & well-established studies proving effectiveness of modern & established techniques of spine surgery.
It is very important to make a proper diagnosis of the patient’s problem before deciding for him/her to undergo spine surgery. Most cases of neck & back pain are usually muscular in origin & therefore do not require any surgical intervention. Unless & until there is severe pain or muscle weakness which is making walking or performance of daily chores extremely difficult, surgery should never be considered as the first line of treatment. Anti-inflammatory medications, lifestyle changes, exercise, physical therapy & noninvasive treatment modalities like therapeutic massage can often be successful at resolving neck & back pain.
Depending upon the diagnosis, spine surgery may be necessary only when conservative treatments have failed to reduce back pain. Like for example, patients having herniated discs with arm or leg pain as a major symptom which failed to relieve with other treatments, discectomy may be the most appropriate solution. Patients must get a clear explanation of diagnosis whenever surgery is recommended, as to how surgery will be helpful in relieving symptoms.
Conventional open spine surgery has undergone testing in numerous clinical trials. Vast majority of patients undergoing discectomy as treatment for herniated discs have effectively experienced satisfactory relief from pain & other symptoms. Moreover, laminectomy is also a highly effective spinal procedure for elderly patients who have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. However, very few spine surgeons yet regard laser spine surgery as a viable alternative to traditional spine surgical techniques. Nevertheless, Orthopaedic Surgery India which is a specialty medical tourism company will be pleased to provide high quality & yet affordable laser spine surgery treatments to international patients seeking healthcare solutions away from their homeland.