The Benefits of Minimal Invasive Spine Surgery with Dr Issam Mardini
The Benefits of Minimal Invasive Spine Surgery with Dr. Issam Mardini
For some patients who have spinal instability or have been recommended spinal fusion, it is important to understand what minimally invasive options may be available. Advances in spine imaging such as MRI allow surgeons to see smaller and smaller spinal problems. Individual spinal nerves, bone spurs, and small disc fragments can be easily seen and diagnosed. Similarly, spinal surgery techniques have advanced to the point where some procedures involve incisions less than one inch.
Many modern techniques can be described as “minimally invasive” surgery, or “MIS.” For some patients, a minimally invasive procedure may be a better surgical option than a traditional or “open” spinal surgery. Instead of removing muscle attachments from bones, a minimally invasive surgery spreads and pushes muscles out of the way.
X-rays, computer-aided navigation techniques, and specialized tubes or retractors with special cameras or microscopes have led to major advances in the capabilities of MIS surgery. In addition to a smaller incision, MIS surgery has been shown on average to cause decreases in blood loss, postoperative pain and narcotic use, soft tissue damage, and a number of days spent in the hospital. On average, patients have a faster recovery, and return to normal activity and work faster.
A normal spinal canal is filled with fluid that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves. As the spine degenerates, spinal joints get bigger (just like the knuckles on our fingers), and discs may collapse or bulge. As this happens, room for the spinal cord and roots decreases and this may lead to pain or weakness in the legs. In severe cases, a minimally invasive surgical procedure may not be an option and an “open” procedure may be the best choice to remove arthritic bone spurs. However, for some patients where spinal stenosis is in only one or two levels, a minimally invasive surgery may be a better option with a quicker recovery.
Bone spurs and arthritis is removed from the spine where nerves are compressed using a tube or retractor that is often less than an inch in diameter. A high-powered surgical microscope is used through the tube so that the nerves can be safely seen and protected throughout the operation. This smaller incision, less muscle disruption, and preservation of more of the patient’s anatomy may lead to a quicker recovery, and physical therapy can begin sooner.
Minimally Invasive Spinal Fusion
Spinal fusion is always a major undertaking, and any patient considering it should understand the risks and recovery involved. Damage to nerves, infection, failure of bones to fuse properly, or the need for more surgery is all included in the risks of a minimally invasive or traditional “open” surgery. For this reason, it is important that patients consider and fail all possible nonsurgical or “conservative” methods with their surgeon before making the decision to undergo spine surgery. These nonsurgical treatments include physical therapy, heat/ice, anti-inflammatory or neurologic-acting medication, bracing, or spinal injections before surgery.
If you are dealing with low back pain or sciatica, then you know how difficult it can be to find the right treatment for your condition. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy, exercise or injections for your pain. If your symptoms are severe, you may be referred to first med day surgery center to help you manage your condition.
Symptoms coming from your back may be felt in various places in your body. These include:
Pain in the center or one side of your back
Pain in your buttocks
Pain or numbness in your thigh or lower leg
Weakness in your leg or ankle
If you have any of these symptoms, visit your doctor right away to get an accurate diagnosis for your condition. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your pain and can recommend the correct treatment for you.
Back pain or sciatica may be caused by many different problems. These may include:
Bulging or herniated discs
Degenerative disc disease