Traditionally, spine surgery is done through an open method, in which the operated area is opened with a long incision that allows the surgeon to access and view the anatomy. However, with the advancement in technology back and neck conditions can now be treated with a minimally invasive back surgery technique. Since minimally invasive surgery does not require a long incision, it minimizes the damage affected on the muscles surrounding the spine resulting in a less pain surgery as well as a lesser time of recovery.
Minimal invasive surgery has been majorly applied in decompression and spinal fusion since the 1990s but applies to many other spine operations. The procedure involves the use of specialized instruments that allow access to the spine through a minimal incision.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Benefits Over Open Back Surgery:
- The traditional open surgery involves making an incision of about 6-inches long and moving muscles to allow the surgeon view the spine and remove the damaged parts. The incision also allows the doctor to place cages, screws and any other bone graft materials that can help to stabilize the spinal cord and assist in the healing process.
- Open surgery involves pulling or retraction of muscle that can result in damage to the soft tissue. Although muscle retraction allows the surgeon view the affected area well, it can result in devastating effects. For that reason, open surgery can result in muscle injuries that can lead to more pain after the surgery and even longer recovery period.\
Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques make it possible to treat spinal problems without majorly affecting the muscles as well as the spinal structure. This procedure offers a number of benefits such as:
- The surgeon can only see the area affected part of the spine and since the affected area is small, less pain is experienced after the surgery and the affected area takes a lesser time to heal. Although the time that it takes to heal can vary with the patient and individual procedure, in most cases MISS patient are released from the hospital within 2 to 3 days.
- This modern technique of operation minimally disrupts the muscle and soft tissues resulting in lesser postoperative pain as compared with the traditional technique. Although the patient may experience a little postoperative discomfort, the discomfort is totally low and doctors can easily manage and relieve the pain.
- With physical therapy, the patient who adopted the procedure can regain strength enough to return to work within a few days. However, the physical therapy depends mainly on patient’s physical condition and type of operation.
With advancement in the spinal surgery procedure, most back and neck conditions that require surgery operation are treated using the minimally invasive techniques that offer many advantages as compared with the traditional method. For patients that have had a fusion operation before, the operation may take more than a month before full healing. However, the level of discomfort improves much faster with the minimally invasive spine surgery. During the healing period, the fused spine must be kept in proper alignment. The time that the patient recovers before resuming to his daily activities after a minimally invasive surgery depends mainly on the individual procedure and condition. The doctor will apply various mean to hasten recovery such as physical therapy while evaluating recovery progress.