Surgery for spondylolisthesis has come a long way recently with the development of minimal access, minimally invasive techniques. Although traditional open surgery may sometimes be necessary, Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center is a leader in newer, minimally invasive options.
Minimally Invasive Lumbar Fusion: This surgery fuses the bones of the spine in the lower back together so that there is no longer any motion between them. This reduces spinal pressure, pain, and nerve damage. Minimally invasive lumbar fusions do not require the large incision or the muscle retraction typically used in conventional fusions. Patients undergoing this procedure have a fast recovery time. A recent advance is the use of a computerized image guidance system for many patients undergoing lumbar fusion. This has the advantage of aiding the surgeon in optimal placement of screws and avoiding injury to delicate nerve tissue.
Until recently, all patients undergoing lumbar fusion required a bone graft either from the hip region or from a bone bank. Newer bone grafting substances are now used to promote healthy bone fusion. In most patients undergoing lumbar spinal fusion, metal titanium instrumentation is also used. This will typically involve placing pedicle screws into the bone and connecting these with a rod.
At Och Spine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, individuals treated for a slipped disc have only a brief hospital stay, and 95 percent of patients will have complete relief of their pain. Find out more about Doctors Who Treat Spondylolisthesis.
Reviewed by: Eric Elowitz, MD
Last reviewed/last updated: September 2020