What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
At some point in their lifetime, 80 percent of Americans will suffer from back pain. Comprising 24 vertebrae, supporting discs, the spinal cord, nerves and numerous muscles and tendons, the spine is one of the most complex structures of the entire human body. Given the intricacy of the spine and its interrelatedness to every part of the body, patients with injury or disease affecting the back often need highly specialized assessment and treatment.
Our spine provides support for our bodies, enables complicated three dimensional movements and encloses vital nerves. It’s also surrounded and supported by soft tissues including muscles, and adjoins veins and arteries. A failure in any one of these functions or any combination of them could necessitate surgical intervention.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery corrects underlying back and neck conditions with minimal disruption of the surrounding tissue. This is accomplished with one or more small incisions through which a tubular retractor is inserted creating a precise surgical portal/corridor to access the diseased spine. Rather than slicing through muscles as done in traditional spine surgery, Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery dilates the surrounding muscle tissue.
The advantages over traditional open spine surgery:
- Muscles and soft tissues are spared
- Risk of postoperative infection is decreased
- Blood loss is reduced
- Patients experience less postoperative pain
- Reduced need for postoperative pain medication
- Time hospitalized is significantly reduced
- Small incisions are aesthetically more appealing
- Resume normal activity much quicker
Typical conditions which can be addressed with minimally invasive spine surgery
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery represents a collective of newer techniques targeting various affected parts of the person’s spine. Almost every condition treated with conventional open surgery can now be safely and effectively performed minimally invasive.
List of conditions routinely treated with Minimally Invasive Surgery:
- Back pain (lumbar pain)
- Neck pain (cervical pain)
- Herniated disks
- Degenerative disk disease
- Spinal stenosis
- Spine Fractures
Situations which require traditional open surgery
Just like with abdominal surgery, in which majority are performed laporoscopically, there are circumstances where larger exposures are necessary for patient safety. Spine surgeries done from the front (anterior) are still preferentially performed through open procedures. These front procedures do not involve as much muscle cutting and it’s easier to negotiate through vital structures with an open incision. There are various technologies in a state of development which might in the future provide surgeons with a minimally invasive surgical tool.
How to know which option to choose
A specific Minimally invasive spine surgery recommendation best fitting patient’s condition can only be assessed by an experienced Minimally Invasive Spine surgeon.
It’s also very important to keep in mind that Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery is a relative newcomer and encompasses a multitude of techniques and procedures. Each procedure requires a steep learning curve. In other words, for a spine surgeon to master and perfect a variety of minimally invasive spine techniques takes years of learning and practice. Since patients present with different back ailments, it’s important for them to find spine surgeons who are skilled in many MIS techniques and which can give them much better customized options, increasing their chances of healing and resuming of their normal function.
Selected as a center of excellence to teach other surgeons on the techniques of Minimally Invasive Spine surgery, our doctors provide the widest and most comprehensive range of minimally invasive techniques which are individualized to each patient for a quick post-surgical recovery and long-term functional success. With the Largest Minimally Invasive surgical spine experience, CSIMIS doctors strive to stay on the cutting edge of the most advanced proven techniques and technologies. Our goal is to provide our communities and our patients with the best available treatment options.
We provide a team approach and a surgical expertise of Neurosurgeons and Orthopedic spine surgeons. Each surgical case is discussed amongst a team of experts which concludes on the best possible surgical technique for the patient.
Most back and neck problems do not require surgery and are treated in a non-surgical, conservative fashion. Patients are offered anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, injections and are often referred to rehabilitation doctors. Surgery is offered by our doctors as the very last option for patients who failed all conservative treatment modalities.
Our doctors work very closely with area Physical Therapists and Rehabilitation Doctors to provide care to patients suffering from debilitating spine conditions.
Our motto is: “Innovative solutions to complex spine problems is Commonplace at CSIMIS”.