How Long Does Back Surgery Take?

When you are trying to ease your back pain, it is best to explore non-surgical options first. However, if you have explored non-surgical options, and are still experiencing back pain, then the only option left may be undergoing surgery. Back surgery, in most cases, is technically spine surgery. How long a back surgery takes depends on what kind of surgical treatment is required to help address the cause of the problem. The two most common types of back surgery are spinal fusion and minimally invasive spinal surgery.

How Long Does a Spinal Fusion Take?

A spinal fusion surgery is done by joining (or “fusing”) together one or more of the vertebrae in your spine. The fusion is done to prevent patients from taking motions that would cause pain and bring some bit of stability to your back. This is done in order to prevent bones in your spine from being misaligned, which can cause unnecessary pressure to surrounding nerves. How long a spinal fusion takes depends on how much vertebrae are being fused, and how misaligned the spine is. The max is usually around six to seven hours, with a recovery period of one to three months. Spinal fusion for back pain is typically seen as a last resort type of treatment, and other options like minimally invasive surgery should be considered first.

How Long Does a Minimally Invasive Back Surgery Take?

A minimally invasive back surgery is a process where the surgeon uses small, specialized instruments to make a small incision where the spine needs to be treated. Usually, the patient does not need to be under complete anesthesia when undergoing this surgery, as just local anesthesia is usually enough. Minimally invasive back surgery is done to treat common spinal issues such as herniated discs. Many doctors are normally able to perform a minimally invasive back surgery in the morning, and can then send their patients home later in the day. Depending on what condition the minimally invasive surgery is treating, some patients may need to stay in the hospital for an extra day or two.

If you are experiencing back pain in New Jersey, it may be best to consult with a spinal expert to see what your options are. If other methods for your back pain have not worked, it may be time to discuss whether a minimally invasive back surgery is the right choice. Doctor Marc Cohen at the Spine Institute is an expert in minimally invasive spinal surgeries, contact us today for an appointment.