27 Apr Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery: What You Need to Know
Book an appointment today and see how New York Spine Specialist can help improve daily life with minimally invasive surgery.
For some spinal conditions, open surgery is the only solution. Open surgery, while sometimes necessary, is an extended procedure that often includes a long recovery period and post-surgery pain. When possible, doctors recommend minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative.
If it’s right for you, minimally invasive spine surgery could reduce your time, pain, and stress as compared to open surgery. At New York Spine Specialist, we’re committed to assisting patients with state-of-the-art spinal treatments.
Call your trusted spine specialist in New York or book an appointment online today to get started.
What Is Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery is a procedure that aims to stabilize spinal joints and vertebral bones while relieving pressure on spinal nerves.
Unlike open spine surgery, which involves a large incision down the patient’s back and the potential removal of soft tissue, minimally invasive spine surgery requires smaller incisions and a more gentle relocation of muscles and tissues. Surgeons use a small metal tube and other tools to view and operate on the spine with minimal damage to the muscles and tissues.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
In comparison to open surgery, minimally invasive spine surgery has several benefits, including:
- Faster recovery and less rehabilitation
- Reduced pain after surgery
- Less trauma and damage to the muscles and soft tissues
- Less blood loss
- Lower risk of infection
- Fewer cosmetic alterations due to smaller incisions
- Reduced chance of pain medication dependence after surgery
Due to its many benefits, minimally invasive spine surgery is increasing in popularity. While it only accounted for around 15% of all spine surgeries in 2010, according to research published in the Global Spine Journal, that number doubled in the following six years.
Risks Associated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
All surgical procedures come with certain risks, and minimally invasive spine surgery is no different. Some risks associated with minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Possible adverse reactions to anesthesia
- Localized infections where the incisions occurred
- Unexpected blood loss
- Pain at the incision points
- Nerve damage
- Blood clots
- Spinal fluid leaks
- Incomplete procedure, requiring a second procedure or open surgery
Types of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeries
There are several different types of minimally invasive spine surgeries, each of which aims to treat different conditions. Some types include:
- Spinal fusion
- Deformity corrections
- Spinal tumor decompression
- Vertebral compression fracture repair and stabilization
- Lumbar spinal stenosis treatment
- Spinal infection treatment
Reasons for Receiving Minimally Invasive Surgery for the Spine
Not all back pain requires spinal surgery. If other treatment options are available, your spine care team may decide against a surgical procedure. Patients with specific spinal conditions may be candidates for minimally invasive surgery.
Some conditions that may require minimally invasive surgery for the spine include:
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Lumbar spinal stenosis
- Scoliosis and other spinal deformities
- Spinal instability, such as spondylolisthesis
- Spinal infections
- Vertebral compression fractures
- Spinal tumors
Preparing for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
In preparation for minimally invasive spine surgery, your doctor will likely recommend that you take a few precautions:
- Quit smoking. Talk to your provider about medications and programs that can help.
- Exercise daily. Keeping your muscles in shape can reduce your recovery time.
- Talk to your provider about any medications you currently take. You may have to stop taking some medications before your procedure.
How Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Works
At the beginning of the procedure, the medical team will give you anesthesia, which will either be local (to numb part of your body) or general (to prevent pain and allow you to sleep through the surgery). Next, using a fluoroscope or endoscope to determine the correct locations, your spine surgeon will make small incisions through your skin. They’ll insert tubular retractors into the incisions to gently move the muscles and soft tissues and allow access to your spine.
The next steps may vary slightly based on the type of minimally invasive spine surgery. Typically, your surgeon will insert different medical instruments, such as small cameras and lights, into the tubular retractors and begin working on the target spinal area.
Once work on the spine is complete, your medical team will remove the tubular retractors and close the small incisions using a combination of stitches, glue, staples, and surgical tape or bandages.
After the procedure, you’ll need to remain in the hospital for at least a few hours as the medical team monitors your health. Some patients can go home on the day of their minimally invasive spine surgery, while others need to stay in the hospital for one or more nights.
Your spine doctor will talk you through the best ways to care for your body following the procedure, covering such topics as physical therapy, medications, and treatment options.
Book an Appointment Today with New York Spine Specialist
If you have a back condition that requires a surgical procedure, minimally invasive spine surgery may be the right choice for you. Talk to your healthcare provider about spine pain caused by myelopathy and other conditions.
Book an appointment today with New York Spine Specialist to get started. Our doctors accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP (personal injury protection). Same-day appointments may be available.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Success Rate of Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
The success rate of minimally invasive spine surgery is over 90%. This is slightly lower than the success rate of open spine surgery, but minimally invasive surgery offers benefits like faster recovery times.
How Long Does It Take To Recover from Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Most patients recover from minimally invasive spine surgery and can return to normal activities in a few weeks. Recovery times vary based on several factors, including overall health and the specific type of surgery.
Are There Any Dietary Restrictions Following Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
There are typically no dietary restrictions following minimally invasive spine surgery. Talk to your healthcare provider about any dietary concerns you have.