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May 28, 2019 - TCO

TCO does not endorse laser spine surgery

Although Twin Cities Orthopedics does utilize minimally invasive techniques as a safe practice for spine patients, it does not endorse laser spine surgery. TCO agrees with the coverage and treatment recommendations of the North American Spine Society (NASS) regarding laser spine surgery.

NASS is the largest multidisciplinary spine research- and education-based medical society in the world. Due to a lack of high-quality clinical trials related to laser spine surgery with the cervical or lumbar spine, TCO, like NASS, does not endorse laser spine surgery as a supplement to open, minimally invasive or percutaneous surgical techniques.

NASS states:

Clinical indications for the procedure laser spine surgery in the cervical or lumbar spine is NOT indicated at this time.”

Studies challenge the effectiveness of laser spine surgery

An April 2019 article in AAOS Now, published by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), also questions the effectiveness of laser-assisted procedures.

People are unquestionably interested in the procedure with “laser spine surgery” noted to be a top Google search term. There is limited high quality peer-reviewed research demonstrating a benefit of lasers in spine surgery. A recent review in the Journal of the AAOS concluded that no clinical or preclinical data suggest a benefit to the use of lasers in spine surgery and that there are some specific disadvantages to the use of lasers in this area.  With a lack or proven research and safety concerns, many payers consider laser spine surgery to be unproven technology and do not cover them.

On March 1, 2019, one of the largest providers of laser-assisted spine procedures, Laser Spine Institute, based in Tampa FL, ceased operations with little warning for more than 500 employees and patients.

TCO Spine Center

The TCO Spine Center is a full-service spine practice that integrates surgical and nonsurgical spine specialists, spine therapy, X-ray services and MRI.

Because there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all spine care, the providers at the TCO Spine Center focus directly on individual patient needs, creating comprehensive treatment plans to help patients return to their best function as quickly and safely as possible.

For more information about spine and neck care, or to discuss any questions about laser spine surgery or minimally invasive techniques, contact your TCO provider or visit TCO Spine Center.