Nobody truly understands how devastating back pain is until it happens to them, and once it does, it is usually accompanied by a mixed sense of desperation and fear. Back pain sufferers would do just about anything to feel normal again, yet most are scared of the idea of surgery.
The good news is that what most people imagine when they think of back surgery is far from the reality: that’s because of the development of minimally-invasive spine surgery, the smart way to treat back pain.
Minimally invasive spine surgery has replaced the need for open surgery, which generally requires a 5 to 6-inch long incision and muscle retraction. It is an innovative procedure that has completely changed the way that back pain is treated. It uses extremely small incisions that are just big enough to allow the insertion of a small endoscope with a camera attached to the end.
This camera provides the surgeon with an unprecedented degree of access to the source of the pain. The image is transmitted to a screen, and the surgeon is then able to use special tools to address the problem. Tissue and muscle can be manipulated and moved out of the way and repairs made without the need for cutting.
This minimizes trauma to the area, eliminates the need for internal and external stitches, minimizes bleeding and post-operative pain, and means a much faster recovery and return to normal.
When a patient arrives at our practice for a consultation, we begin with a careful assessment of their overall health, as well as of their specific problem. It is always preferable to begin with the most conservative approach possible, so that’s where we start.
Sometimes that means injections or a program of physical therapy, and sometimes the best course of action is to proceed with an outpatient spinal procedure.
There are a variety of different types of conditions that can be addressed using minimally invasive spine surgery. The most common condition for which it is used is herniated discs. This common spine disorder occurs when the vertebral discs that act as cushions between the vertebrae are damaged. When the disc’s nucleus gets pushed outwards through the hard outer wall, it can come into contact with the nerve root and cause severe pain.
Endoscopic discectomy removes the portion of the disc that is compressing the nerve and relieve the pain.
Minimally invasive spine surgery can also be used to perform lumbar fusion.
Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery are often able to go home on the same day as their procedure, and experience much less pain than is felt following traditional open procedures. They are also able to regain their strength more quickly, and to return to their normal level of activities much faster depending upon the individual procedure and condition.
To find out whether you can benefit from minimally invasive spine surgery, contact our office today to set up an appointment.