Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: What You Need to Know

Throughout the State of California, there are many surgeons who perform spinal surgeries and other procedures pertaining to the back. However, only the best of the best offer minimally invasive spine surgery due to the delicate nature of the method and equipment used. If you do not know much about minimally invasive spinal surgery, you will be happy to know that it is safer and quicker than others are.

To perform minimally invasive spine surgery, the attending physician uses a small tube that is equipped with a tiny camera to see inside of your back. This tube I referred to as an endoscope. It has been around since 1910 and was successfully used in a gall bladder surgery during 1980. However, using endoscopy for spinal surgery is a relatively new concept.

As the endoscope enters the body though a small incision, the surgeon is able to see what is going on in the patients spinal cavity via a TV screen that the instrument is attached to. The endoscopic instrument can also move and use other small surgical instruments within the spine as the physician watches the TV monitor.

Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgeon in California benefit from the procedure in a variety of ways. For example, the incision made in the body is considerably smaller than a traditional incision would be because it only needs to accommodate the endoscopic tool, which is very small. Smaller incisions indicates less trauma to surrounding tissues and result in quicker healing times.

A conventional spine surgery could require a patient to remain in the hospital for quite a long time. Complete healing might not occur for up to one-year post surgery. When minimally invasive surgery is performed, recovery time is decreased by weeks and even months. A patient’s stay in the hospital is also shorter.

There are certain criteria to be met in order to be considered a good candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery. Some procedures unfortunately require traditional methods to be performed such as bone grafts or when metal rods need to be installed within the back.

Ideal candidate for minimally invasive surgery are those suffering from degenerative disc disorder, scoliosis, spinal tumors, and compression fracture. A patient and their surgeon will decide whether a traditional or minimally invasive procedure is right for them.

Endoscopic spine surgeries include laminectomies, discectomies, cervical foraminotomy, lumbar interbody fusion, and the placement of pedicle screws. Again, the patient and their doctor will go over their procedure and which types of treatment will suit their needs best.

During the recovery period, plan to take it easy for a few weeks. Not listening to doctor’s orders can result in the re-injury of the spine and having to go under the knife again. However, when minimally invasive surgery is performed in a California surgical suite, plan to be up and walking by suppertime of the day the procedure was performed. Pain medication will be made available to the patient as needed.

Depending on the type of minimally invasive surgery that was had, most patients can home on the same day or within a few days after the procedure. In any case, the surgeon will most likely refer the patient to a therapy program in order to strengthen the spine and help speed up the recovery process.

As with any surgery, there are risks involved but they are decreased when minimally, invasive procedures are performed in a reputable Californian hospital. Some of the most common complications include infection, blood loss, blood clots, and adverse reactions to the anesthesia. Again, these risks are low. If you are concerned, speak with your surgeon about the risks involved for peace of mind.