Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – How Does It Work?

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No one likes the thought of spine surgery but sometimes it’s the only or the best option. The spine runs from the base of your head to the top of your legs, it is the main support structure for your body and protects the main nerves of the body, that run inside it. In fact, it also protects some of your internal organs.

That’s a good enough reason to be worried about spine surgery, there are dangers associated with it, specifically infection, although miscalculations can cause issues with nerves and movements.

That’s why if you need this type of procedure, you should choose an expert in minimally invasive spine surgery.

Why You May Need Spine Surgery

If you have regular back pain you’re unlikely to suddenly need the help of a surgeon. However, if the pain has not been rectified by a number of other treatments, such as physical therapy or medicine to treat an underlying condition, then spine surgery is an option.

In general, it is only likely to be beneficial if you have a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, (that’s the narrowing of the spinal canal), or a spinal deformity, such as scoliosis. It can also be an option if you have an infection in the spine, a tumor that needs removing, a fractured vertebra, or even a defect in your lower vertebrae.

If going under the knife is likely your medical professional will tell you about the procedure and the risks involved, before you consent to it going ahead.

What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Standard operational procedures for spinal investigations and repair are referred to as open surgery. This is because a long incision is made down your back before the muscles and soft tissues are moved away from your spine, allowing the surgeon to see the issue and manually repair it.

This is a very invasive procedure which often requires tissue to be removed.

Minimally invasive surgery seeks to avoid this disruption by making a much smaller incision near the suspected injury area. A stiff tube-shaped tool is inserted into the incision, it’s known as a tubular retractor. The shape is important as it creates a tunnel over the spine, allowing soft tissue to be gently moved out of the way.

Microscopic tools are then put through the tunnel and the surgeon will operate them through magnifying glasses or a microscope. This will allow them to identify the issue and work directly on the spine without disrupting the rest of your back.

As the name suggests, it’s much less invasive, recovery times are significantly quicker, and the risk of infection or other issues is dramatically reduced.

Unfortunately, this is only an option for surgeries such as lumbar discectomy, laminectomy, and spinal fusion.