Motion Preservation Surgery


Not everyone with a spine condition needs surgery. But for some people, surgery is the only way to improve pain or stability or fix fractured vertebrae.

What is Motion Preservation Surgery?

If you need spine surgery, it’s natural to feel worried. But you can take comfort in the fact that today, there are more surgical options than ever before. These include minimally invasive procedures that shorten recovery time and preserve spine movement.

Mercy’s spine surgeons offer a range of surgical treatments to meet your unique needs. For patients who need open surgery, we perform traditional treatments like spinal fusion. And for patients seeking a less invasive approach, we offer motion preservation surgery.

Spinal Fusion vs. Motion Preservation Surgery

Conventional spinal fusion surgery is generally safe and effective. But it is also associated with some complications. During spinal fusion, two or more vertebrae are permanently fused together. Once your vertebrae are fused, they can’t move like they used to, putting extra stress on the vertebrae above and below the fusion. As a result, you may have less range of motion, along with early degeneration of the adjacent vertebrae.

The term “motion preservation surgery” refers to several newer surgical techniques. They treat many of the same disorders as conventional spine surgery. But they may overcome some of the limitations associated with spinal fusion.

Benefits of Motion Preservation Surgery

Advantages of motion preservation surgery may include:

  • Shorter recovery and rehabilitation
  • Better spine movement and flexibility
  • Less stress on the adjacent discs, reducing the possibility of a second surgery
  • Less surgical blood loss

You can rest assured knowing our spine surgeons have helped thousands of people overcome their condition. 

Motion Preservation Surgery at Mercy

We understand that surgery might not be your preferred treatment option. But it may be the best way to overcome pain or loss of mobility. Whenever possible, we use minimally invasive techniques that get you back on your feet faster. These include artificial disc replacement, endoscopic discectomy and microdiscectomy.

Motion preservation surgery may be an option for several spine disorders. These include:

  • Degenerative disc disease, including herniated discs, spinal stenosis and sciatica nerve pain.
  • Conditions such as arthritis and spondylolisthesis.
  • Spinal deformities including scoliosis and kyphosis.
  • Compression fractures in the spine.

Our team will see if you are a candidate for motion preservation surgery based on your symptoms, age, medical history and lifestyle. No matter what treatment you have, we'll make sure you understand the benefits and risks. We’ll also make sure you know what to expect during and after the procedure, including rehabilitation and recovery.

If your spine condition has become too painful to bear, talk to your Mercy physician about your treatment options. We’ll help you make an informed decision about the procedure that’s right for you.

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