Tuesday, July 26, 2016

You Have A Minnesota Work Injury And Need Spine Surgery. Should You Go With A Traditional or Laser Lumbar Spine Surgery?

Like many of you contemplating low back surgery, I was aware of the option of laser spine surgery before I underwent two low back surgeries following my Minnesota work comp injury.  I did a lot of research on the issue before deciding to go with the traditional microdiscectomy over the "laser" approach.  Though every individual has to come to their own decision as to surgery, I feel that treating with a local spine surgeon here in Minnesota is the smartest choice.  That said, I want to stress that just like workers compensation attorneys, all surgeons are NOT equal.  We are fortunate to have many excellent spine surgeons here in Minnesota.

In reading the numerous studies (not Laser surgery center advertisements) I have found that there is no real significant benefit for undergoing a laser spine surgery procedure.  In fact, the biggest downside is that our Minnesota workers compensation clients often have to travel to far flung states like Florida or Arizona to undergo a laser spine surgery.  This makes follow up care, treatment for complications, and building a relationship with a physician nearly impossible and horribly expensive.  In addition, often you need to rely on your doctor for a medical legal opinion as to whether your work injury is a substantial contributing cause to your surgery.  Too often doctors from outside of Minnesota simply don't understand Minnesota's complex "causation" standards or don't want to get involved in an out of state legal proceeding.  This should be a real concern for you as a patient and injured worker.

As for minimally invasive laser spine procedures, Dr. H. Gordon Deen, a neurosurgeon at the Mayo Clinic stated in a 2009 Mayo publication that "there are no clear benefits to laser surgery over more well-established spine surgery techniques that have proven to be effective."   Dr. Deen went further and stated that doctors at the Mayo Clinic neither use nor recommend laser spine surgery.  Having personally worked with dozens of other Twin Cities spines surgeons I can attest that his opinions are universal here in Minnesota.

If you have sustained a work related low back or cervical spine injury and are contemplating surgery, I'm happy to discuss these with you both as an expert workers compensation attorney and as a someone with personal experience having undergone spine surgery. There is never a charge to discuss the same.  I'm truly open to talking to you in person or by phone.  With over nearly 25 years experience in workers compensation and having had multiple spine surgeries, nobody is more qualified than me to advise you with your injury.  Call today at 651-333-3636 or visit our page at www.mndisability.com