What is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Until a few years ago, regular spine surgeries were performed as ‘open surgeries’ wherein the doctor made a long vertical incision along the backbone in a bid to access the target operation site. However, with the advancements in medical technology, it is now possible to operate and treat both neck and back conditions through a surgical technique that is minimally invasive and far more convenient and comfortable for the patient.
All you need to know about the minimally invasive spine surgery
Nowadays, at the Progressive Spine & Orthopedics Center the minimally invasive spine surgery or the MISS is extensively employed by our doctors as well as the leading surgeons worldwide for treating the complications arising from a large number of spinal and vertebral conditions such as spinal tumors, scoliosis, herniated disks, bone spurs, spinal instability and so on. The surgery focusses on releasing pressure exerted on the spinal nerves and stabilizing the vertebral bones. Some of the other issues that could be effectively treated with the help of the minimally invasive spine surgery include lumbar spinal stenosis, spinal infections, spinal instability, vertebral compression fractures, and degenerative disk disease.
What are the benefits of the minimally invasive spine surgery?
Given the fact the minimally invasive spine surgery is a negligibly invasive surgical technique it offers a wide range of benefits for the patient undergoing the operation. Here are a few of them.
- Since the minimally invasive spine surgery typically requires a smaller incision (around 2 centimetres) in the skin, it offers a neater and more aesthetically pleasing cosmetic result. Also, since the operation wound is smaller, there is lesser scarring post healing.
- Another major advantage of the minimally invasive spine surgery is that it is accompanied by a reduced amount of blood loss as compared to the traditional open surgery procedures.
- Since the minimally invasive spine surgery does not require any deep incisions within the back muscle, it has lower risks of muscle damage as compared to the traditional spinal surgery.
- Given the faster recovery times associated with the minimally invasive spine surgery, the patient is required to spend lesser time at the hospital. Also, faster healing ensures that there are lesser post-operative complications and infections.
- Since the minimally invasive spine surgery involves a smaller wound, there is lesser post-operative pain and consequently a diminished requirement for pain medications as well.
- In some cases, the minimally invasive spine surgery may also be performed as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthesia. That said, the surgery involves lesser risks or complications associated with general anaesthesia in patients.
How is the minimally invasive spine surgery performed?
The minimally invasive spine surgery may be performed in two ways namely the percutaneous where the procedure is performed through the skin or the mini-open where the surgeon makes a small incision to treat the damaged site. In addition to this, the process of decompression or spinal fusions may be performed with the help of specially designed tools called tubular retractors. The tubular retractors are used to create a sort of tunnel within the back muscle through which the doctor can access and operate the target area. As such, the retractors can also be employed for both removing any damaged bone mass or discs from the patient’s body and also for inserting any support prosthetics such as rods or screws to treat the spinal condition.
One of the most commonly performed minimally invasive spine surgery is the Micro Endoscopic Discectomy or simply the Lumbar Discectomy that is used to remove degenerative or herniated vertebral discs from the spine. The Lumbar discectomy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under local anaesthesia and makes use of a device called the endoscope to get real time visual imagery of the patient’s anatomy.