Minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery results in less recovery time for the patient

There are over 500,000 spinal surgeries performed every year in the United States. These surgeries range from simple discectomies (removal of a portion of the intervertebral disc) to more complex spinal fusion with instrumentation.

Recently, more advanced techniques that are much less disruptive to spinal structures and require far less recovery times have been implemented. These techniques are called minimally invasive because they require small incisions, result in minimal blood loss, minimal tissue disruption, and minimal hospital stays.

Here we look at the advantages of minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery.

Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion

Dr. Stephen Heim, Co-Medical Director of the Neuro-Spine Center and the Director of the Spine Surgical Training Center at Central DuPage Hospital, writes about minimally invasive spine surgery.

What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
In essence, minimally invasive spine surgery is the performance of surgery through small incision(s), usually with the aid of endoscopic visualization (i.e., very small devices or cameras designed for viewing internal portions of the body).

Why Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Needed?
Minimally invasive spine surgery has developed out of the desire to effectively treat disorders of the spinal discs with minimal muscle related injury, and with rapid recovery.

Traditionally, surgical approaches to the spine have necessitated prolonged recovery time. For example, in the 1990s the state-of-the-art procedure for fusion of the lumbosacral spine has been the instrumented posterolateral fusion. In order to perform this procedure, the back muscles are moved away from their spinal attachments, allowing the surgeon space to place rods, screws, and bone graft.

What Is Spinal Instrumentation and Spinal Fusion?
First, this surgical approach (i.e., dissecting the muscles) produces the majority of the perioperative pain and delays return to full activity. The degree of the perioperative pain necessitates the use of significant pain medication with their inherent side effects. Also, the degree of the perioperative pain delays return to normal daily activities and nonphysical work.
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Physician Explains Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion Surgery

Minimally Invasive Lumbar Spine Fusion Surgery

Neurosurgeon and Director of the Neuroscience institute of El Camino Hospital in California, Dr. James Doty discusses minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery.

Do you have additional questions about minimally invasive spinal fusion surgery? Leave your question in the comment section below and one of our medical team members will answer your question promptly.

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