I am considering a spinal fusion for chronic low back pain. Which technique has better outcomes in terms of getting out of the hospital sooner?


Surgical techniques for lumbar spine fusion can be separated into two categories based on amount of tissue disruption. Minimal access surgery is reported to have better short term perioperative results as it utilizes small incisions and minimal muscle disruption. This technique involves use of a tube or sleeve to complete a muscle dilating or muscle splitting approach. Conventional surgery or open spine surgery involves lifting or stripping the musculature along the spine to gain access to the spine. Patients undergoing minimal access cervical or lumbar surgery report less blood loss, lower chance of infection shorter hospital stays and less pain medication and often a faster return to activity.