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High-Quality Lumbar Surgery


Lumbar surgery is back surgery on the lumbar spine, which is located in the lower back.

Common types of lumbar surgery include lumbar fusion and lumbar discectomy. Lumbar fusion joins two vertebrae together permanently. Lumbar discectomy removes a disc in the lower back. 

At Dignity Health in the Bay Area, we understand that surgery is a last option for many people. Whenever possible, our doctors rely on less invasive treatments, including medication management, manual manipulation, and exercise.

If you do need lumbar surgery in the Bay Area, Find a Doctor who is trained in the latest surgical innovations and and is dedicated to providing holistic, well-coordinated care.

What Conditions Does Lumbar Surgery Treat?

Doctors use lumbar surgery to treat pain related to: 

What to Expect During Lumbar Fusion & Spine Surgery

Lumbar surgery takes place in a Dignity Health hospital or surgery center. Depending on the procedure, you will have spinal anesthesia or general anesthesia. For some patients, minimally invasive procedures may be an option. These approaches involve less pain, a faster recovery and a lower risk of complications than open spine surgery. 

Your surgeon will access your spine from the side, back, or front, depending on the procedure. For lumbar fusion, your surgeon can access your spine from the side (lateral approach), the back (posterior approach), or through an incision in your belly (anterior approach).

Possible risks of lumbar surgery include:

  • Damage to nerves leaving your spine
  • Disc fragments that remain after discectomy
  • Injury to the tissues and organs near the area 
  • Pain that does not get better or returns
  • Pseudarthrosis, a condition that can occur after lumbar fusion and may require more surgery
  • General risks of any surgery, including infections, blood clots, bleeding, and reactions to anesthesia

Recovering After Lumbar Spine Surgery in the Bay Area

After lumbar surgery, you will spend some time in the hospital recovering. You may also need to stay in a rehabilitation center before you can safely go home. Full recovery may take up to three months.

Physical therapy will help you recover and learn strategies to prevent future problems. This includes practicing good posture and using proper form when lifting heavy objects.

Your doctor will work with you to determine the right surgical options and recovery plans for your specific condition. If you would like to see one of our experts, call 888.653.1839 for a doctor referral today.

Dignity Health surgeons are skilled in a variety of orthopedic surgeries, including lumbar surgery techniques, in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Redwood City.