Back surgery should only be performed after non-operative treatments have proven ineffective, or with deterioration of a problem within 6-12 months of its presentation, notes the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery. Whether lasers are used in spine surgery depends on what type of procedure is being done, and on the individual's condition. They are utilized in minimally invasive back surgery.
It is reasonable to consider surgery for certain conditions where treatments have been unsuccessful and there has been deterioration, the Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery states. These include spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, sciatica and degenerative scoliosis.
Six procedures that can be performed to help relieve back pain include interlaminar implant, foraminotomy, laminectomy, disectomy, disc replacement and spinal fusion, according to WebMD. An interlaminar implant involves placing a device between two lower back bones. During a foraminotomy, the surgeon cuts away bone at the sides of the vertebrae. In a laminectomy, the surgeon removes bone spurs, parts of the bone or ligaments in the back. If a disc is pressing on a spinal nerve, a surgeon removes all or part of it in a disectomy. A disc replacement procedure replaces a damaged disc with an artificial one. Spinal fusion involves joining vertebrae, or spinal bones, together. Each kind of back surgery has its own benefits and risks.