Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Through minimally invasive spine surgery, a surgeon can operate on the spine without making large incisions. Not only does this eliminate the need to cut through muscle tissue — it also results in significantly less pain and a quicker recovery. The term “minimally invasive spine surgery” does not imply a specific procedure for treating a certain condition, but rather refers to a general method of performing spine surgery that can be applied to a wide range of surgical procedures, such as decompression and spinal fusion.
Benefits Compared to Open Surgery
In traditional open surgery, a surgeon will first make a large incision on a patient’s back. Then, the surgeon must detach the muscle tissue that is connected to the spine. This is typically done with a cautery device where you are essentially burning the muscle off the spine to expose the vertebrae. Although the patient may gain relief from the spinal condition treated by the procedure, it obviously damages the muscle during this process. This typically causes more pain following surgery and longer recovery times. It also may lead to long term muscle damage that could lead to chronic back pain and potentially contribute to instability of the spine in the future. With minimally invasive spine surgery, less injury is inflicted upon the muscles surrounding the spine. The incision is only centimeters long (rather than inches), and less bleeding occurs. Minimally invasive spine procedures are associated with less blood loss, shorter hospital stays, and greater patient satisfaction. Some procedures can be done on an outpatient basis, where you go home the day of surgery.