No one likes having spine surgery, but today’s technology makes it much less invasive and life-consuming.
Each year, nearly 200,000 Americans undergo spine surgery with hopes to relieve pain from spine injury or disease. The surgical outcomes are often unpredictable, and success is not guaranteed. Part of the problem with surgical outcomes is the variability in who undergoes surgery. Another part of the problem with surgical outcomes is the invasiveness of the surgery causes pain and extensive recovery following surgery.
With traditional “open” spine surgery, several weeks or months of recovery may be required because in this type of surgery, muscles and tissues are separated to gain optimal access to the injury site. The surgery usually results in trauma to surrounding tissues and considerable blood loss; because of this, the affected tissues and muscles need adequate healing time.
With the objective of least interruption to the patient’s regular, active lifestyle, minimally invasive surgical techniques provide the opportunity to successfully treat back problems. These surgical methods have achieved results similar to those of conventional “open surgery.” A smaller incision is made, sometimes only a half-inch in length. The surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through these tiny incisions and probes in order to access the damaged disc in the spine. Due to the acute accuracy provided by these tools, surgeons create a smaller surgical work area. Innovative developments in minimally invasive techniques have pioneered better ways for the surgeon to access the spine, moreover making the recovery process more seamless.
Entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae are achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues when using minimally invasive techniques. Additional advantages of minimally invasive techniques include reduced surgery duration and recovery time, as well as less pain, blood loss, and visible scars.
Some of the benefits of minimally invasive surgery include:
Because MISS is much less invasive, recovery is usually much faster.
Incisions can sometimes be as small as half an inch!
Since incisions are so small, there is less need to cut or disrupt muscles.
Smaller incisions means there is less bleeding involved.
Another advantage of smaller incisions is less post-operative pain.
Less invasive means there are fewer opportunities for complications.
MISS provides the patient with less scarring than most traditional open spine surgeries. For many patients, the less scarring, the better.
It’s important to note that the technology used to perform minimally invasive orthopedic procedures has undergone significant advances in recent years and surgeons are continuing to improve and refine ways to make surgeries even less invasive.
We use state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques and instrumentation to help patients recover in a shorter period of time and allow for a quicker return home. Innovative developments in minimally invasive techniques have pioneered better ways for the surgeon to access the spine, making the recovery process more seamless.
Surgeons like Dr. Radcliff who perform minimally invasive surgery have very specialized training. These surgeries involve specialized instruments and expert skills to perform the operation through tiny incision sites, sometimes only a half-inch in length. The surgeon inserts special surgical instruments through these tiny incisions to access the damaged disc in the spine. Entry and repair to the damaged disc or vertebrae are achieved without harming nearby muscles and tissues when using minimally invasive techniques.
Unlike many other spine care providers, spine patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery with Dr. Radcliff can often have their surgery on an outpatient basis and be home later the same day. Recovery in one’s own home can be more comfortable than staying in a hospital bed.
Typically, patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery can return to normal activities within a few weeks. Often, patients can begin their physical therapy and recovery program sooner than patients who have had open spine surgery, because their pain is less severe.
Although it depends on the actual condition and procedure, most people who receive minimally invasive spine surgery enjoy a rapid and full recovery following their treatment.