Spine-related disorders are among the most common problems encountered in clinical practice. Up to 80% of the population has experienced low back pain at some point in their life, and 1% to 2% of the United States adults are disabled due to low back pain.
There is a large variety of treatment options for spine-related disorders, including conservative treatments such as medications, physical therapy, and exercise programs, and other advanced more invasive options such as percutaneous interventional spine procedures and spine surgery.
When conservative treatments aren’t effective in alleviating symptoms or if the pain from a spinal origin is persistent and disabling, spine surgery might be an option. Spine surgeries are aimed at fixing the structural defect in your spine that is the origin of the pain and the other symptoms associated with it.
Traditional Versus Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgeries
Within the last 40 years, a newly-developed approach called minimally-invasive spinal surgery (MISS), utilizing the advances in medical imaging techniques, endoscopy, and minimally invasive surgical tools, has rendered many spine surgeries into relatively simple, effective procedures.
Even for a minor disc injury, the traditional open-spine surgery approach requires the surgeon to make a 5-6 inch incision down the afflicted region of the spine and use retractors to draw back the tissue and muscle to access the bone. This makes the patient more susceptible to complications such as bleeding and infection. It also leads to unnecessary tissue damage.
The goal of MISS is to minimize the size of the surgical incision, which results in less tissue damage, bleeding, infection risk, and a shorter hospital stay. MISS uses advanced technology, imaging techniques, and specialized medical equipment to make an incision as small as possible. Modern endoscopic procedures can be performed through a skin incision of 2 to 5 millimeters. Procedures performed under a microscope need about a one-inch incision.
Compared to traditional open spine surgery, the MISS approach yields many benefits, including:
- Shorter hospital stays
- Recovery from surgery is quicker, and less rehabilitation is needed
- Less surgical complications such as bleeding and infection
- Smaller skin incisions produce better cosmetic outcomes (sometimes as small as several millimeters)
- Muscle cutting, if necessary, is minimal, lowering the risk of muscular injury
The Available Techniques for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Minimally invasive techniques are used in a variety of spinal operations. Cutting away tissue (discectomy), fusing adjacent vertebrae (spinal fusion), and substituting bone or other tissue are examples of where these techniques get involved. The spinal procedures where MISS can be used include the following:
- Lumbar fusion
- Microdiscectomy (lumbar decompression)
- Artificial disc replacement
- Posterior cervical foraminotomy
- Percutaneous adhesiolysis (epidural lysis of adhesions)
Candidates For Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery
A doctor will determine which, if any, MISS technique is appropriate for treating your spinal issue. MISS may not be as efficient and successful as regular open surgery in some cases. If this is the case, the doctor will be able to explain the risks and benefits to you.
Brain and Spine Surgery in Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Centennial, and Castle Rock
If you’re in or around Lone Tree, Parker, Colorado Springs, Aurora, Centennial, or Castle Rock, visit Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery to receive the best spine care available.
Our expert surgeons are exceptionally qualified to perform intricate neurosurgical procedures using advanced minimally invasive techniques, or minimally invasive spinal surgery, for conditions such as herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, spinal fractures, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis.
Don’t wait another day to get the advanced minimally invasive treatment you need to get the relief you deserve. Call (303) 790-1800 or use our simple online form to request an appointment with an expert neurosurgeon at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery.