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Laser surgery for lumbar stenosis

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
Does anyone know where I can find out about the success rates of laser surgery for lumbar stenosis after surgical failures?



  • Hi Alan and welcome to Spine-health.com

    I have looked around and done and internet search (as you may well have done too) but cannot find any information on success rates. All searches end up pointing towards doctors/clinics specialising in laser surgery for spine and I suspect that you may get a biased answer from them to your question as they are promoting that surgical process. That's not to say anything against laser surgery in any way at all.

    By and large, it may be that laser surgery is too new for there to be many studies carried out regarding medium to long term success of laser spine surgery. For any such study to be meaningful usually there needs to be a sufficiently large sample base (e.g. hundreds of patients) and a long study period (several years).

    We have had some members here in the past who had had very good success with laser surgery for spine conditions, but it certainly is not suitable for every spinal condition.

    You may find this article useful: http://www.spine-health.com/blog/surgery/laser-disc-decompression-spinal-stenosis-does-it-work

    All the best... Bruce
    Keep positive!


    ...an old timer here and ex-moderator

  • Hi, I'm facing surgery on L3-4 and L4-5 soon and would appreciate any insights or various types of surgery. Also difference between having a neuro or ortho do the surgery. I'm not familiar enough with your list to find the info.
    Many thanks
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  • I am looking for the same information. As mentioned by one of the contributors above, the success rates you hear about are from the clinics themselves. They get some great endorsements. And the quickness and recovery times sound impressive (2 hour surgeries; walking that day,, etc.). I would like some independent information about it. Probably the success depends on what is wrong with your back in the first place. If you can give me any help on this, please post. I am considering the procedure for canal and foramen stenosis, L 34 4-5 .
  • Regarding orthos or neuros, take a look at this link on the forums:

    More important than that question is to be sure whether you choose an ortho or neuro, you want to find a surgeon who has fellowship training. It is in this year, for which the doctors are selected to participate, that they receive all the specialized training that makes them the most expert on issues of the neck and back. Today fellowship training is basically identical for the young doctors coming from an orthopedic surgery background or a neurosurgical background. Do not confuse any orthopedic surgeon with an orthopedic spinal surgeon. If they also do joint replacement and set broken bones or do sports medicine, they are a generalist and not a spinal specialist.

    Since it is always a good idea to get more than one opinion when contemplating surgery, you might as well try one of each and see what you think.

    I think all previous posters are correct in that it is difficult to find meaningful statistics on success
    rates. When you run a search, you end up with ads for the more "prominent" laser spine clinics. One thing I noticed when doing some research is that many of the doctors are not spine surgeons by training. Many are not even surgeons. They are anesthesiologists. Many of the laser clinics only offer the one procedure, but there are a couple clinics that emphasize the laser technique but they also offer a more traditional surgery if it is apparent that would be the right choice for the patient.

    As in anything, you need to do research and try to learn as much as you can. Just reading information on their respective websites will not tell you much. Look in newspaper archives to see if their are lawsuits against the clinic. One well=known clinic in the Tampa area was closed down due to the large number of lawsuits. Then they moved a little bit north and put another doctor's name on the door, but it was still the same doctor/owners involved. Since these places usually offer surgery on site, the doctors do not have hospital affiliations, so it can be difficult to judge their skill and qualifications.

    Hopefully those who have had laser surgery will post with their experiences.

    Again, welcome to the board. Take a look around. There is a lot of great information on the website including many articles written by spinal specialists. I cannot stress enough how important it is to get used to doing your own research. Having a back injury can be a complicated problem that will require a great deal of endurance as you search for a proper solution. The more you know about the anatomy of the spine, how things work and what goes wrong, the better off you will be in understanding what a doctor is proposing for treatment.

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    Post Edited by Moderator haglandc

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