When a spinal condition or disorder impacts a nerve, it can disrupt motor and sensory signals and result in painful symptoms that radiate along the affected nerve pathway, and even cause disability. Nonsurgical, conservative or traditional methods are usually the first approach to many medical conditions affecting the spine. If such methods fail to provide relief, surgery may be prescribed.
What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a cutting-edge procedure used to treat issues in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar regions of the spine.
It aims for outcomes similar to traditional open back surgery but utilizes techniques that eliminate collateral damage to muscle, tissue, and ligaments. Minimally invasive spinal surgery is a safer, more effective alternative to traditional surgery. It also involves less pain and a faster recovery than open surgery.
Unlike the large incisions and muscle destruction of open back surgery, minimally invasive alternatives use keyhole incisions of less than 1 inch, specialized surgical tools, and muscle-and-tissue preservation techniques.
Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive spine surgery aims to relieve neck or back pain at its source with minimal trauma, physical intervention and side effects. There are two types of these procedures.
Minimally Invasive Decompression Surgery
Decompression surgeries aim to remove spinal material that may be impinging on a nerve, such as a bone spur or herniated disc. Common minimally invasive decompression surgeries include:
- Discectomy – full or partial removal of damaged portion of disc to relieve irritation and inflammation of a nerve. A microdiscectomy (also called a microdecompression) uses a special microscope, which allows the surgeon to make a smaller incision.
- Facet thermal ablation – a form of minimally invasive laser back surgery.
- Foraminotomy – corrects foraminal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal to relieve pressure on nerves.
- Laminectomy – total removal of the lamina – the bone overlying the spinal canal, to enlarge the space to relieve nerve pressure caused by spinal stenosis. A laminotomy is partial removal of the lamina.
Minimally Invasive Stabilization Surgery
Stabilization surgeries aim to remove a portion or all of a diseased or damaged spinal disc, and then stabilize the spine with an artificial disc or bone graft (fusion). When done in a minimally invasive manner, the surgeon utilizes small, muscle- and tissue-sparing incisions. These procedures are usually performed for more advanced conditions affecting the cervical (neck), thoracic (middle back), and lumbar (lower back) areas of the spine.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a safe, effective, fast, and less traumatic alternative to traditional spinal surgery.
The skilled neurosurgeons at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery offer surgical and nonsurgical treatments of spinal disorders. Their comprehensive, patient-centered care aims to achieve the best outcomes. Call (303) 790-1800 to request an appointment today.