Back pain is a major problem in the US with at least 80% of the population experiencing this condition at some point in their lives. Conservative or non-surgical treatment such as rest, activity modification, physical therapy, and over-the-counter pain medication may bring about substantial relief in most cases. However, if these treatments have not worked, minimally invasive spine surgery is an option worth considering.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is an advanced surgical procedure that uses computer-assisted technology and specialized tools to provide a definitive solution for back and neck pain due to spine disorders.
Relatively simple spine procedures such as spinal nerve decompression as well as more complex procedures such as spinal instability treatment using interbody devices can be done using minimally invasive spine surgery. Other common spine conditions that can be treated with minimally invasive spine surgery include degenerative disc disorders, disc herniations, sciatica, scoliosis, spondylosis, spinal fractures, and spine tumors.
The main benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery include:
- Smaller surgical incisions through which the surgery is performed
- Minimal blood loss as compared to traditional open surgery
- Less disruption of surrounding muscles
- Reduced risk of adjacent segment disease
- Shorter operating times
- Less postoperative pain
- Less scar formation
- It can be performed as an outpatient procedure
- Faster healing and return to activities of daily living
- Reduced risk of recurrent disc herniation
Of course, not all spine surgeries can be performed using a minimally invasive approach. For example, certain types of spine infections may still require open surgery to completely eradicate the infection. Consult your doctor or spine surgeon to find out if you might be candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery.