The first thing to know about minimally invasive spine surgery is that it is performed less often than you might think.
Although herniated discs, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), Spinal deformities, Spinal instability, fractured vertebrae and other procedures are performed in a minimally invasive manner, and most of the time offer much less pain and side-effects, fully 80 percent of back surgeries are of the typical, open back surgery methods.
The plain fact is that performing minimally invasive spine surgery is an art that takes a great deal of additional training on, and many spine surgeons just don’t want to go through that additional professional training.
So if you are thinking of having Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, make sure it’s with a board-certified neurosurgeon or orthopedic surgeon who has a lot of experience with the procedure.
This is important because given a choice, in around 80 percent of spinal procedures, a trained surgeon will opt for Minimally Invasive surgery as the way to go.
So what is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
In traditional spine surgery, a much larger incision is made in the back, and back muscles must be pushed aside.
In minimally invasive spine surgery, a much smaller incision is made, and most surgeons do their work through the use of a tubular retractor, a small metal tube used to gently push muscle away, and in which the surgeon then inserts various instruments to do the procedure.
The advantage is that less pain is involved, there are much smaller incisions which heal easier, involve shorter (or in some cases no hospitalization), and require fewer pain killers for recovery.
Traditional back surgeries are more appropriate for around 20 percent of all back cases that don’t respond to physical therapy and medicine, and which are causing serious mobility issues, so it’s important to see a surgeon that is professionally trained in both types of procedures to get an honest assessment. How to find a clinic for minimally invasive spine surgery near me.
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Myths about minimally invasive spine surgery
There are a number of myths about minimally invasive spine surgery, spread by both doctors who do not perform the procedure and the general public, the so-called non-doctor experts.
- All spine surgeries involve lots of pain and long recovery timesThis is not true anymore with advances in minimally invasive surgery. With many procedures, the patient goes home the same day and successful outcomes significantly shorten both recoveries and required pain medication.
- Many spine problems are too complicated for minimally invasive surgeryThe fact is, in over 80 percent of the time, minimally invasive surgery is now the preferred method of treatment.
- Many surgeons provide Minimally Invasive spine surgeryMany surgeons claiming to provide minimally invasive surgery do so only for a few procedures.
Providing the full range of minimally invasive spine surgery requires a surgeon that has undergone extensive fellowship training in the procedure, and are generally board-certified as well.
A full 80 percent of spinal problems can be treated by a fellowship-trained surgeon and one who has a multidisciplinary team to support them.
- All spine problems can be treated with minimally invasive surgeryNot true. In around 20 percent of cases, traditional spinal surgery is the better option, which is why you should seek an experienced surgeon who is an expert in both.