Minimally-Invasive Procedures Bring Relief to Back and Neck Pain Sufferers

Back and neck pain can be debilitating. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. According to the American Spine Decompression Association, an estimated 75% – 85% of Americans suffer from back or neck pain at some point in their lives.

Oftentimes, back and neck pain is caused by unstable vertebrae. Vertebrae damage can be caused by trauma, injury or may be degenerative. In addition to significantly diminishing quality of life, if left untreated, this issue can cause additional problems such as nerve damage or even paralysis.

Patients who experience these symptoms should seek the advice of a physician to find the cause of the pain and determine the best treatment option

  • Pain that radiates from the neck down the arm
  • Pain that radiates from the back down the leg
  • Pain that increases when lifting heavy objects or with walking or standing
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Limited range of motion in the arms and legs
  • Back or neck pain that disrupts sleep

A study by the American Physical Therapy Association found that back and neck pain effects people’s ability to do many everyday tasks. Thirty percent of men and 20% of women surveyed said this type of pain inhibits their ability to do their job. What’s more, 39% of respondents said pain prevents them from doing daily tasks such as housework and 37% said it negatively impacts their sleep.

Fortunately, there is help for people who suffer from back and neck pain. Physicians typically recommend beginning with the most conservative treatment methods. However, sometimes surgical intervention is required. The advanced surgical technology available at Fresno Surgical Hospital allows for complex surgeries to be performed safely and typically, with minimal down time.

“Fresno Surgical Hospital gives Central Valley patients access to advanced spine surgery,” says Ali Najafi, M.D., a neurosurgeon. “This technology allows us to use minimally-invasive techniques, including cervical artificial disc replacement, which significantly enhances the recovery process.”

A full range of spine procedures is performed at Fresno Surgical Hospital. Two of the most common procedures are Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion and Lumbar Fusion.

Relief from Lower Back Pain

Pain in the lower back, or lumbar region, is often caused by damaged vertebrae. In addition to pain, this condition can also cause limited mobility. A Lumbar Fusion can repair the damaged vertebrae to alleviate pain and improve functionality.

There are 5 vertebrae in the spine’s lumbar region. Lumbar Fusion joins together two or more vertebrae so that they form one larger bone. This eliminates the motion between the vertebrae and helps prevent further nerve damage. A Lumbar Fusion is an in-patient procedure, meaning the patient is required to stay in the hospital for a few days after surgery. The typical recovery time is 3 months.

Relief from Neck Pain

Cervical Disc Disease and Radiculopathy is the clinical description for neck and arm pain that is caused by disc deterioration in the upper spine. Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion is the best solution to remedy this issue.

During this procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision in the neck to remove the damaged disc. To provide spine stability, the damaged disc is replaced with a bone graft and titanium implant. Due to the minimally-invasive nature of this procedure, most patients are walking just a few hours after surgery. Many patients are able to go home the same day the of the surgery. The typical recovery time is 6-8 weeks.

Fresno Surgical Hospital has several board-certified neurosurgeons on its staff.

“At Fresno Surgical Hospital, we are committed to giving our patients access to the most advanced surgical care. We work closely with our surgeons to ensure we have the latest surgical technology to improve patient outcomes,” says Kristine Kassahn, RN, Chief Executive Officer of Fresno Surgical Hospital. “Plus, our hospital is designed to provide a comfortable, relaxing environment for the patient, which enhances their post-op recovery.”

Fresno Surgical Hospital, an award-winning physician-owned hospital, is the only local hospital to earn a Five-Star Rating for patient satisfaction as reported on’s Hospital Compare site. Learn more about spine procedures at