Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

There are many types of minimally invasive techniques that use smaller incisions and cause less muscle damage. These techniques can be used for common procedures like lumbar decompression and spinal fusion. Decompression helps relieve pressure on spinal nerves, while spinal fusion corrects problems with the small bones of the spine by fusing them together.

Open Surgery vs Minimal Invasive Surgery

Open surgery, on the other hand, can damage both the muscle and surrounding soft tissue. The pulling of the muscle during open surgery affects more anatomy than the surgeon requires, resulting in greater potential for muscle injury and pain after surgery. This can lead to a lengthier recovery period. Additionally, the larger incision and damage to soft tissues may also increase both blood loss and the risk for infection.

To address these issues, minimally invasive spine surgery was developed. This technique treats spine problems with less injury to the muscles and other normal structures in the spine. It also helps the surgeon to see only the location where the problem exists in the spine. Other benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include smaller incisions, less bleeding, and shorter stays in the hospital.

Compared to open spine surgery, minimally invasive surgical approaches are faster, safer, and require less recovery time. This is because less cutting is required, which reduces trauma to the muscles and soft tissues.

The potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery include

  • better cosmetic results from smaller skin incisions
  • less blood loss from surgery
  • reduced risk of muscle damage
  • infection, and
  • postoperative pain.
  • Patients also recover faster and require less rehabilitation after surgery.
  • Additionally, some minimally invasive surgeries are performed as outpatient procedures with local anesthesia, which reduces the risk of an adverse reaction to general anesthesia.

    However, like any surgical procedure, there are certain risks involved with minimally invasive surgery. These include:

    • possible adverse reactions to the anesthesia
    • unexpected blood loss during the procedure
    • localized infections
    • and in rare cases, the initial surgery may not be completed, requiring a second procedure or full open surgery.

    Conditions that can be treated using minimally invasive surgery include degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spinal infections, spinal instability, vertebral compression fractures, and spinal tumors. However, not all spinal conditions can be treated with minimally invasive surgery, and a doctor can help determine if it is a viable option for a particular patient.

    Different types of minimally invasive spine surgeries are available, depending on the specific condition being treated. Some common procedures include:

    • Endoscopy: Specialized visualization tools called endoscopes and specialized instruments are used to visualize the pathology and correct it. Incision is far less than open surgery and many conditions can be treated with endoscopic spine surgery with the patient wide awake thus giving instant result to the patients.
    • Microdiscectomy: Used to treat herniated discs, this procedure involves removing a small portion of the damaged disc material that is pressing on a nerve root or the spinal cord.
    • Lumbar fusion: It is performed to stabilize the spine and relieve pain by fusing two or more vertebrae together. During the surgery, screws, rods, or interbody cages may be used to promote fusion and restore spinal stability.
    • Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty: These procedures are used to treat vertebral compression fractures caused by osteoporosis or trauma. They involve injecting bone cement into the fractured vertebra to stabilize it and relieve pain. There is no incision used in these cases.

    Success rate

    Research has shown that minimally invasive spine surgery has a success rate of over 90%, which is slightly lower than the success rate of traditional open surgery, which is over 95%.

    How long does it take to recover from minimally invasive back surgery?

    How long does it take to recover from minimally invasive back surgery? Patients who undergo minimally invasive spine surgery usually recover much faster than those who have open surgery, and can often return to normal activities within six weeks.