Knowing Your OptionsFor most people, and the doctors that oversee their health, surgery is the final option after a long list of alternative treatment options. Spinal surgery is especially invasive and can be a source of fear for some patients. Spinal fusion surgery is safe and has been proven effective in most patients, but options are out there.

There are ways to manage back, shoulder, and neck pain, and sciatica, without surgery. For some, these options will be enough to ensure that pain is managed and mobility is restored.

First, there are minimally invasive techniques such as injections and medications to manage pain and lubricate joints. Pain can also be managed, for some, through aquatic therapy, rehabilitative yoga, or other dedicated exercise and movement initiatives.

Other surgery options include:

  • A less-invasive fusion surgery that requires smaller incisions and causes less damage to tissue.
  • Artificial disc replacement.
  • Cell-based gene therapy injections.


There are also options within spine fusion surgery. Vertebrae can be bridged by bone, metal plates, or screws. There is also the option of replacing discs with plastic or titanium.

It is important for potential candidates of spine fusion surgery to understand the options. For some sufferers of back pain and loss of spinal mobility, spine fusion is the best option and can result in permanent relief.