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Outpatient Spine Procedures

Until recently, spine surgery has been an intensive procedure requiring an inpatient hospital stay and long recovery time. Now minimally invasive surgical techniques are making outpatient surgeries possible. With technological advancements, minimally invasive spine surgery treats many conditions that use to require open surgery, which involved a long incision and muscle retraction in getting to the problem area.


The benefits of minimally invasive procedures over traditional open surgery include:

  • Safer with a lower risk of complications.
  • Less pain and blood loss.
  • Less damage to muscles and soft tissue.
  • Shorter hospital stay.
  • Quicker outpatient recovery.
  • Smaller incisions, with less noticeable scars.

Minimally invasive surgical techniques are less intensive and enable patients to recover at home instead of at the hospital.

Four of the most common types of outpatient back surgery done at Florida Orthopaedic Institute are lumbar microdiscectomy, lumbar laminectomy, anterior cervical decompression and fusion, and anterior cervical disk replacement. These surgeries are performed using minimally invasive techniques that cut the outpatient back surgery recovery time and only need a small incision.


A microdiscectomy (also called a microdecompression) is usually used for relieving leg pain (also known as radiculopathy or sciatica) than lower back pain. A microdiscectomy reduces the pressure on a spinal nerve root by removing the material causing the pain, and is typically performed for a herniated disk. A small part of the bone over the nerve root or disk material under the nerve root is removed during the minimally invasive procedure.


This surgery creates space by removing the back part of a vertebra covering your spinal canal (the lamina). This operation enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. It is also known as a decompression surgery.


The anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure removes a damaged disk to relieve spinal cord or nerve root pressure. It helps ease pain, weakness, numbness, and tingling. The procedure is also called an anterior cervical decompression because discectomy is a form of surgical decompression. The surgery has two parts; the anterior cervical discectomy and the fusion. The surgery starts through the front (or anterior) of the neck (cervical spine) in the discectomy. The disk is removed from between two vertebral bones. Fusion surgery is done at the same time as the discectomy to stabilize the cervical part of the spine. A fusion places bone graft or implants in place of the disk to provide strength and stability to the area.


Also known as total disk arthroplasty or artificial disk replacement, this surgical procedure uses a front approach (anterior) to the cervical spine. This is the same approach used for an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery to remove a damaged disk.

Improvements in surgical techniques and technology over the past decade have allowed for more spine surgeries to be performed in outpatient surgery centers, outside of the traditional hospital setting. Here are some frequently asked questions about outpatient spine surgery.


What is an outpatient surgery center?
Outpatient surgery centers are ambulatory care (medical services performed on an outpatient basis) facilities where the staff is focused only on performing outpatient surgery. This specialization requires the commitment and integration of the surgery team. For spine surgery, surgeons may use different anesthetic techniques, strategies for moving patients, and post-surgery pain treatments.

What are the benefits of having spine surgery performed in an outpatient surgery center?
Outpatient surgery centers allow patients to have a shorter procedure and a quicker recovery, so they can quickly get back on their feet. Patients leave the same day, with cost savings compared to an overnight stay in a hospital. Most patients prefer to recover in the comfort of their homes. Outpatient centers provide a more personalized experience. With a smaller footprint and parking close by, it provides easier access for patients.

Are more spine surgeries being performed on an outpatient basis?
There is definitely an increase in outpatient spine surgeries. Some of the reasons for this include convenience, better patient experience, decreased cost, patient demand, and the desire to deliver a more patient-friendly experience.

How do outpatient surgery centers differ from a hospital (inpatient) setting?
Outpatient surgery centers usually offer the same surgical services as hospitals. Care delivered after surgery is different. Outpatient surgery centers discharge the patient that day or the next morning. If extensive rehabilitation or physical therapy is required after surgery, those services are provided on an outpatient basis, so the patient remains at home, rather than in the hospital.

Who is a Good Candidate for Outpatient Spinal Surgery?
Good candidates for outpatient surgery have the cause of the condition well defined. Also, the patient would have seen no improvement despite a reasonable amount of nonsurgical care. If those conditions are met, they would also:

  • Have no other medical conditions.
  • Is of normal weight (body mass index, or BMI, less than 35).
  • Have enough family or social support at home.
  • Have a realistic expectation of some pain and discomfort despite reasonable pain-relief strategies.


Florida Orthopaedic Surgery Center has two locations for your convenience at:

CITRUS PARK: 6117 Gunn Hwy, Tampa, FL 33625
NORTH TAMPA: 13020 North Telecom Parkway, Temple Terrace, FL 33637


The Florida Orthopaedic Surgery Center has their own website:


If you have some type of spine issue, you might be a candidate for outpatient spine surgery. Our team of specialists can review your case and determine the best course of treatment. Talk to your Florida Orthopaedic Institute physician today to learn more about outpatient spine surgery.

The following Florida Orthopaedic Institute physicians specialize in Outpatient Spine Procedures:

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