Laser Spine Surgery
A laser is a narrow beam of energy that when focused on tissues, converts it to heat and causes vaporization. It is extensively used in many surgical procedures to cut through tissues or ablate (remove) diseased tissue. Laser surgery can also be used in spine procedures such as:
Nerve ablation (rhizotomy) at facet joints: Arthritis and degeneration of facet joints, joints between vertebral bones, can compress nerves passing through them, causing neck, back or leg pain. The pain may be treated by ablating the nerves with a laser.
Disc decompression: Spinal discs between the vertebrae may undergo degeneration, causing them to herniate and compress neighboring nerves. Laser surgery can be used to vaporize and shrink disc material so that pressure on the nerves is relieved.
Laser Annuloplasty: The annulus is the tough outer layer of a spinal disc. Tears in the annulus may be treated with laser surgery by coagulating and shrinking the tissue.
Laser spine surgery is used only in certain cases due to the complex anatomy of the spine and the likelihood of damage to nerves and surrounding tissue. Discuss the option of laser spine surgery with your doctor for your individual condition.