What You Should Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

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Before surgeons were able to use minimally invasive techniques on the spine, patients endured extensive surgeries and long recovery periods. Now, however, an increasing number of neck and back surgeries can be performed with these advanced techniques. If you’ve been experiencing persistent, severe back pain, you can consult an orthopedic surgeon to find out if minimally invasive back surgery is right for you.

When is surgery necessary

There are many advantages to having minimally invasive spine surgery as opposed to traditional open surgery. During an open surgery, the doctor creates a five-to six-inch incision and pulls the muscles to the side to access the spine. This major adjustment of the muscles can inflict soft tissue damage. Patients who undergo open spine surgery typically have more pain and a longer recovery time as a result. In contrast, minimally invasive surgery involves creating small incisions, which minimizes soft tissue damage. With minimally invasive back surgery, patients may experience less pain, less bleeding, and a shorter recovery time.




Types

Many different spine surgeries can be performed with minimally invasive techniques. For example, an orthopedic surgeon could perform a lumbar discectomy or a posterior cervical discectomy with this approach. Discectomies are procedures to address disc herniation. Surgeons can also perform spinal fusion procedures with minimally invasive techniques.

minimally invasive spine surgery

Risks

Although there may be a reduced risk of complications with minimally invasive approaches, it’s important for patients to be aware that complications may still occur. These potential complications may include infections, bleeding, and nerve damage. Patients may rarely experience persistent pain at the surgical site or a recurrence of the symptoms the surgery was intended to resolve. Patients who smoke may be more likely to develop pseudoarthrosis after spine surgery. Any individual who is immobile for long periods of time after a surgery may be at risk of developing blood clots in the legs, which may break free and travel to vital organs.

The Advantages Of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Back and neck pain are some of the most common ailments suffered by individuals in America. In the past, patients suffering from chronic back or neck pain due to an underlying spinal condition were forced to undergo invasive, open surgery. Fortunately, advances in the field of medicine have led to the development of minimally invasive spine surgery methods. Continue reading to learn more about the advantages of undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery.

Smaller Incisions

Minimally invasive spine surgery uses various surgical techniques in conjunction with specially designed instruments to assist in the visualization of the surgical field. Common instruments include tubular retractors, endoscopic cameras, and ultrasound imaging technology. By using these specially designed instruments, your spine surgeon can create smaller incisions, resulting in smaller scars following the procedure.




microdiscectomy surgery

Reduces Damage to Surrounding Tissues

In addition to reducing the size of scars, the small incisions utilized during minimally invasive spine surgery reduces the risk of damage to the adjacent tissues. This not only leads to less blood loss during surgery and decreased post-operative pain but also significantly reduces the mortality rates associated with traditional open surgery methods.

small incisions
Shorter Recovery Period

Unlike other spine surgery techniques, minimally invasive spine surgery procedures are often done on an outpatient basis, resulting in shorter recovery periods and less downtime.

A Look At The Recovery Process Following Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally-invasive spine surgery is an ideal option to treat the spine without requiring open back surgery. By using minimally-invasive techniques, your spine surgeon reduces the amount of post-operative pain and time spent recovering after your procedure. Your surgeon will explain the recovery process and provide specific instructions for you to follow to maximize healing.

Post-Surgery Hospital Stay

Following your minimally-invasive spine surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for rest and monitoring. Minimally-invasive techniques shorten the length of time you will need to stay in the hospital to two or three days. During this time, your medication will be regulated by your surgeon and other hospital stall. Your surgeon will let you know when you will be released to return home.

hospital stay
Physical Therapy

In many cases, physical therapy is prescribed to facilitate healing. Your trainer will provide exercises and stretches designed to minimize pain and rebuild range of motion. You will also be given exercises to perform at home to maintain your progress and continue to build strength. Following certain procedures, such as a spinal fusion, your trainer will also assist you with proper sitting, standing, and walking posture to support the spine and back.

Return to Daily Activities

Your surgeon will discuss your results and how soon you can expect to return to normal daily activities. In some cases, you can return to normal tasks within six weeks, though your personal recovery time may be longer. Start slow and work up to more strenuous activities. If you exercise or play sports, don’t resume these activities without the permission of your surgeon.

How Lumbar Minimally Invasive Surgery Can Help Alleviate Your Back Pain

Back pain can be an incredibly frustrating problem if you cannot get the relief you need, especially when you suffer from lower back pain, which can make simple tasks such as sitting at your work desk highly uncomfortable. If you have already spent months or even years on unsuccessful conservative treatment for your back pain, it may be time to consider lumbar minimally invasive surgery.

What is lumbar minimally invasive surgery?

Lumbar minimally invasive surgery is a general term for several surgical procedures that can address issues of the lumbar spine. The lumbar spine is the lower region of the back where back pain often occurs. Minimally invasive lumbar decompression is one form of lumbar minimally invasive surgery that can alleviate spinal stenosis. This process lessens pressure on the structures of the lumbar spine by removing extraneous tissue. Minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion is another procedure that can help patients with painful arthritic problems in the back. By joining together the afflicted vertebrae, a spine surgeon can eliminate the abrasion between them.

Smaller Incisions
Why should you consider lumbar minimally invasive surgery?

Where other treatment methods have failed, lumbar minimally invasive surgery can help. When you and your physician have exhausted other care options to no avail, this form of spine surgery can provide the permanent relief you desire.

When should you contact a physician for lumbar minimally invasive surgery?

Upon recognizing that you have a back pain problem, you may want to seek a medical professional with a background in spine surgery. A spine surgeon can recommend more conservative forms of treatment, but should they prove ineffective for your needs, he can take the next steps to alleviate your discomfort. If you have yet to contact a spine surgeon, but continue to suffer from disabling back pain, now is the time to seek the permanent relief you desire !

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