Spine surgery is a complex surgical procedure. It can be performed to treat various kinds of spinal and disc problems. Surgery is usually recommended when other non-invasive options such as medications, steroid injections and physical therapy, fail to resolve the symptoms. The word ‘surgery’ that too on a spinal region is scary to most people. A traditional open surgery method is an invasive technique which requires long incisions and complicated access to the spine. Minimally invasive spine surgery is an advanced technique to access the spine and surrounding tissues with less invasion and shorter incisions. The advantages of a minimally invasive procedure makes it a much preferred option by both the patient and the doctor.
What Is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is a specialized surgical technique that involves less invasion during the operation. This technique requires the use of particular instruments to access the spine through small incisions on the backs.
The goal of a minimally invasive spine surgery is to treat spinal abnormalities and diseases with less trauma to the muscles and healthy structures surrounding the spine. It helps the surgeon to visualize the area to be operated clearly through imagining devices.
For a traditional open surgery, the surgeon makes a long incision, about 5 to 6 inches. Then, the muscles are moved to a side so that the spine and problem area is visible. As the muscles are pulled to a side, the surgeon can then operate on the spine to treat the condition, such as removing diseased and damaged bone or intervertebral discs. In spine fusion surgery, other parts such as screws, cages, and bone graft materials are also placed to stabilize the spinal structure and promote healing.
In a minimally invasive spine surgery, the same procedure is performed but by making smaller incisions and inserting special instruments through the incisions to access the spine. It involves less injury to the muscles as the surgeon won’t need to push them to the side. The surgeon can see the internal organs and structure through the special imaging techniques, to operate on the diseased area.
What Are the Benefits of This Procedure?
Minimally invasive spine surgery has several remarkable advantages over an open spine surgery method. The benefits include:
- Faster recovery: As the damage to the muscle and tissues is less, the patient feels better more quickly.
- Less postoperative pain: Also due to the decreased muscle injury and smaller incisions result in less pain.
- Shorter stays: With faster recovery and less discomfort, the patient will need to stay in the hospital for less time.
- Reduced risk of complications during and after the procedure: The surgery involves less risk of blood loss during the operation. Also, the small incisions reduce the risk of having post-surgical infections and other general complications.
- Minimal scarring: As the incisions are small, at times only half an inch in length, the patient will have minimal scar and a better cosmetic result in comparison to an open spine surgery.
What Are the Different Types of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Minimally invasive spine surgery can be performed for several types of spine conditions, such as degenerative disc, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, sciatica, scoliosis and many others. The low cost spine surgery hospital in India offers all kinds of advanced techniques for effective treatment of spinal conditions. Some of these procedures are:
Discectomy – The intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers located between the bones of the spine. They might become damaged or weaken over some time, causing a part of the disc to degenerate or herniate. This results in excess pressure on nerves in that area, leading to pain. In a minimally invasive discectomy procedure, all or a portion of the damaged disc is removed, relieving the pressure off the nerves.
Spinal decompression – There are openings within the spine that can become narrowed as a person ages. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and the nerves running through it. This can cause pain, numbness, weakness, and may also radiate into the neck or extremities. In the decompression procedure, the surgeon removes a part of the lamina, the bony upper part of the spine, or widen the openings, to decompress and relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Spinal fusion – This procedure can be done with a minimally invasive approach. It is done to provide relief from symptoms such as chronic back pain and restore stability to the spine. In this procedure, a bone graft may also be used to fuse two separate vertebrae into a solid bone.