One of the most common questions patients ask at the BioSpine Institute is “Do you use a laser in your procedures?”
It is such a common question we felt it was time to set the record straight, and do our part to get the truth out there about, so called, laser spine surgery. The truth is THERE IS NO LASER! Okay, “no laser” is a slight exaggeration, but only a slight one. You see, the reality is that a laser can only be used in a very specific procedure; and it doesn’t even fix the core problem for patients with back pain caused by an issue requiring surgical intervention. That single procedure is known as a nerve ablation, and it involves heating up a problem nerve to the point of burning it, rendering it useless, and providing temporary relief from the pain. Again, this procedure DOES NOT FIX THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM. The root of the problem is caused by the bones that make up the spine and the discs in between those bones, and both of those (bones and discs) are completely impervious to lasers. In addition, the relief is only temporary, typically lasting anywhere from 6 months to a year, because nerves are amazingly resilient and THEY WILL GROW BACK, at which point the pain comes back.
To sum it up, the truth about laser spine surgery is this: a laser is only used in a single procedure that provides only temporary relief. In fact, if you dig deep, you can find this exact topic referenced on the website of a well-known spine practice:
That last term, “minimally invasive decompression,” is the procedure that involves bone and disc, and the one for which a laser is useless.
This becomes so important to understand because there is a public perception that has developed where patients think they have two options: regular old back surgery or the magic laser. This leaves patients feeling like they are settling for an inferior treatment if it is anything other than the magic laser. Once patients are educated to the point where they understand the magic laser does not exist, they are free to research the actual criteria they should use when deciding on their back care. These are covered in our blog post, How To Choose A Spine Surgeon. Whether they choose the BioSpine Institute or somewhere else, we encourage all our patients to do their research and become as informed as possible, so they can make the best choice for their care.