Min Invasive vs Open Surgery

Hello. My name is Barry.

I was diagnosed a year and a half ago with L4 - L5 spinal stenosis and Spondylolisthesis. The stenosis is moderately severe. My current open surgery DR recommends

laminectomy, and interbody spinal fusion. He's been doing spinal surgeries for many years and is well known. i have good days and bad. What has helped me the most 

is I have stopped doing all the half dozen exercises and yoga moves that I was doing every day. I move around the house a lot and walk. But the exercises seemed to be

irritating the spinal nerves. I plan on having surgery in early 2018 soon as I get some personal issues resolved. I'm 72 yrs old. I don't take any pain meds only an occassional

ibuprofen. But by the late afternoon I can't walk very well. i guess by that time there's accumulated nerve irritation.

My question is this : Does anyone have any experience to share doing lumbar fusion through min invasive surgery ? Through a smaller incision vs a five or six inch one ?

All the stats I've seen suggest that min invasive while less painful and healing time is not as successful long tern as open surgery but it sounds so much easier. 




  • I just had this done with the 3/4" incisions. I checked on my doctor and he and his partner are in the top 5 in the country. I have been a a lot of pain, but I could not do the other surgery. They said the reason the minimally invasive one than the larger incision one is that the muscles are not cut so the healing is better. Only heard really good things about this, but 7 days out it does hurt. I know I can work on my computer and tried to walk too much yesterday and also too busy and now my legs have a great deal of pain in them. You have to make the decision about what you feel is best for your situation, but this I would think is the future of this type of surgery.

  • I had a minimally invasive surgery for my two prior back surgeries and my 3rd was an open one with the larger incision (because he had to remove old hardware).  From my experience the open surgery does take longer to heal and the incision is more painful longer but it was necessary to fix the issues from the previous surgery.  

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