Beware of the “Laser”

I too am a child of the “Star Trek” and “Star Wars” era. And as someone who also suffers from neck and back problems, I wish as much as the next person that all of my problems could be solved by an attractive doctor with an iPhone application, but that is pure fantasy.

Doctors have been trying to apply the laser in treating our patients since it was invented many years ago, but the truth is that the use of Lasers in modern medicine is very limited.

Nonetheless, using the word “Laser” is a sly way to attract those of us who grew up in the last half of the 20th century.

Beware of doctors advertising that they treat your spine problems with “The Laser”. The truth is that the laser can only be used to burn tissue and it can only do that inside of an incision or opening in the body. It cannot be applied magically from outside the body without an incision.

More importantly, the important part of your spine operation does not involve burning tissue. The Laser is used in spine surgery just to get soft tissue out of the way. This is done to allow the surgeon to get to the spine so that the actual treatment can be performed on the spine. This can be achieved equally as well with other devices called “Bovey” or “Bipolar” cautery.

So, do not be duped by the romance of “The Laser”. It is not synonymous with less-invasive surgery and is not part of the actual best treatment for your spine condition.