16 Nov

What is a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

What is a Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Expectations of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

In minimally invasive surgery, your doctor makes one or more small cuts in your skin, each about half an inch long. A small metal tube, called an endoscope, is put through the cut to give the surgeon a smaller area to work in. Working through smaller cuts is much easier on muscles and soft tissues than working through a single long cut.

On the other hand, in “traditional” open surgery, your doctor makes a single long cut (incision) in your skin. So that your surgeon can see the surgery site clearly, a lot of muscle and soft tissue around it is moved out of the way or cut away from the bone. This can cause more damage to the muscles and more pain after surgery.

The Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive spine surgery offers many advantages over traditional open surgery, which include:

  • Less anesthesia
  • Less blood loss during the procedure
  • Less muscle and other soft tissue damage
  • Reduced risk of infection
  • Reduced pain after surgery
  • Less pain medication use
  • Only a few small scars compared to one large scar
  • A few days in the hospital compared to a few weeks
  • A few months for recovery instead of up to a year
  • Faster return to normal life, including work

Risks of Spine Surgery

All surgeries have risks, including minimally invasive spine surgery. The common general risks include:

  • Bad response to the anesthesia
  • Pneumonia after surgery
  • Deep vein thrombosis, which are blood clots that form in your legs and can move to your lungs
  • An infection at the surgery site.
  • Loss of blood during surgery that requires a transfusion

The common risks associated with spine surgery include:

  • When nerves or the spinal cord are damaged, it can cause pain or even paralysis. About 1 in 10,000 people who have major spinal reconstructions will become paralyzed
  • Damage to the tissues around the surgery site
  • Pain because of the surgery
  • Spinal fluid leak

How to Prepare for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

To prepare for your spine procedure:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Ask your provider for help as some programs and medicines can help you stop smoking
  • Regular exercise will keep your body and muscles in good shape and cut down on the time it takes to recover
  • Make sure that you and the surgical team talk about everything you take a few weeks before your surgery. You may need to stop taking herbal remedies and medications that aren’t necessary because these might not work well with anesthetics or other drugs you might be given for your procedure

Your spine will be checked out with X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by your doctor. Before and after your surgery, you may be given antibiotics to take, which help prevent infection. Your doctor or nurse will tell you what to eat and drink the night before surgery.

What Treatments can be Performed Using Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Many types of spinal treatments can be performed using minimally invasive spine surgery. These include but are not limited to:

  • Spinal fusion, which is often used to treat degenerative or “slipped” discs
  • Deformity corrections, like for scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Decompression of spinal tumors
  • Repair and stabilization of compression fractures of the vertebrae
  • Lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Infection in the spine

Recovery from Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Compared to open surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery causes less pain, less damage to muscles, a shorter hospital stay, a faster recovery, and a faster return to work and daily activities.

Most of the time, people who have minimally invasive spine surgery stay in the hospital for three to five days. The total time it takes to fully recover varies from person to person and depends on your spinal problem, the difficulty of your procedure, the skill of your surgical team, your age, your general health, and other factors. Your full recovery could take a few months, but depending on your procedure and condition it can vary. Physical therapy may be something recommended to you to help you get stronger and recover faster.

Minimally Invasive Spine Procedures in Kansas City, MO

If you have questions regarding a spine condition and are looking for a minimally invasive approach, please contact Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and make an appointment with one of our Kansas City spine and back specialists. They will perform a complete examination, diagnosing and ultimately treating any problem. From simple to complicated surgery, you’re in good hands with Orthopedic Health of Kansas City and we will do what it takes to get you active again.

Categories: Back & Spine