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Back pain is one of our most frequent complaints – in fact, it is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor or miss work. Back pain may be constant or sporadic. It can stay in one place or move to other areas. Most of the time, back pain can be treated with home treatment, medication, or therapy. In some instances, however, back surgery is necessary.

Thanks to advancements in surgical techniques, MPSC offers a number of minimally invasive back surgeries that can be performed as outpatient procedures. These include:

Spinal Fusion

Spinal fusion surgery bonds and immobilizes vertebrae to alleviate disc degeneration, instability, narrowing, or other spinal disorders. There are several approaches to spinal fusion surgery, all of which involve the following process:

  • Adding a bone graft to a segment of the spine
  • Stimulating a biological response that causes the bone graft to grow between the two vertebral elements to create a bone fusion
  • The bone fusion then halts the motion at that joint segment

Spinal fusion removes bone and tissue that are narrowing the spinal canal and squeezing the spinal cord or the spinal nerves.

Minimally invasive spine surgery requires smaller incisions, causes less trauma to the surrounding normal tissues, and generally results in a faster recovery for the patient. One of these minimally invasive techniques is extreme-lateral lumbar interbody fusion (XLIF). During the XLIF procedure, the lumbar spine is approached from the side through a small skin incision. The surgery is performed through a muscle that lies next to the lumbar spine.

With the XLIF procedure, approximately two-thirds of the disc can be safely removed. After the disc is removed, an artificial graft is placed in between the vertebrae so the bones can fuse together.

Total Disc Replacement

Total Disc Replacement (TDR), also known as “artificial cervical disc replacement” involves removing most or all of a disc and replacing it with an artificial one.

Chronic low back and leg pain often is a result of the deterioration of the flexible discs between the vertebrae in the lower back. The loss of disc height places pressure on the nerve roots or spinal cord, resulting in chronic lower back pain, numbness, or weakness in the legs. This condition is known as degenerative disc disease. TDR alleviates pain caused by this deterioration.

The purpose of artificial disc replacement is to replace the worn out disc while also preserving the spine’s motion.

During surgery, a small incision is made on the abdomen. The disc is removed and any collapse of the disc is restored. Two metal plates are placed into the disc space. A plastic bearing is inserted between these discs allowing them to move.

Lumbar Laminectomy

A lumbar laminectomy is a surgical procedure that removes part of the bone in the back of the spine, along with overgrown ligaments and bone spurs, in order to reduce pressure on the spinal nerves.

Lumbar laminectomies alleviate pain for patients with spinal stenosis (tightness around the nerves).

A small incision is made over the location of the spinal stenosis. Without cutting through the muscles, a series of dilators are used to separate muscle fibers and provide access to the spine.

Overgrown bone, ligaments, and bone spurs are removed with special instruments in order to open up more room for the spinal nerves. If more than one level needs to be treated, the incision is slightly extended and the procedure is repeated in the same manner. The incision is then closed with sutures that stay under the skin and dissolve over time.


Vertebroplasty is a procedure used to repair small fractures in the vertebrae. Bone cement is injected into the vertebrae, significantly decreasing pain and increasing mobility. The stabilizing of the fracture helps protect against further collapse of the treated vertebra.

A vertebroplasty is performed to repair a fractured vertebra that is causing pain and reducing the spine’s functionality.

During the surgery, a needle is guided into the fractured vertebra under X-ray guidance through a small puncture in the patient’s skin. Acrylic bone cement is injected directly into the fractured vertebra, filling the spaces within the bone. A type of internal cast is created to stabilize the vertebral bone. The needle is removed and the cement hardens in about 10 minutes, solidifying the fragments of the fractured vertebra and stabilizing the bone.

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