Minimally invasive spine surgery is a surgical procedure that focuses on the bones and structures in your spine. Unlike standard surgery, this approach requires fewer incisions. It has quickly become the gold standard for treating degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and other spinal abnormalities. Minimally invasive spine surgery offers numerous benefits compared to standard open spine surgery. These include shorter hospital stays, reduced pain, minimal scarring and injury to surrounding tissues, and decreased blood loss.
If you are considering this procedure for your spine-related issues, you should seek the services of a qualified Arizona minimally invasive spine surgery center. At LAMIS Institute, we are dedicated to providing professional advice and care to each one of our patients for spine surgery procedures, and we are ready to help you if you are seeking these services in Arizona.
An Overview of Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
One type of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) involves using minimally invasive techniques to operate on the spine, also known as the backbone. In contrast to open conventional spine surgery, where a single, long incision is made using a scalpel, MISS aims to minimize the invasiveness of the procedure. This means that instead of detaching, pulling, or spreading a significant portion of the surrounding soft tissues and muscles, they are carefully navigated to access the surgical site with precision. As a result, patients can experience reduced discomfort and muscle damage following the surgery.
During a minimally invasive spine treatment, the surgeon creates one or more tiny skin incisions, typically about half an inch in size. To operate through these smaller incisions, an endoscope or a tiny metallic tube is inserted through the wound. Working through a smaller operative field, as opposed to a single large incision, results in less damage to soft tissues and muscles.
Types of Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Using fewer incisions reduces injury to the surrounding spinal muscles and ligaments during minimally invasive spinal surgery. When comparing these less intrusive surgeries to standard surgeries, there are several advantages. Here are some of the least invasive spine surgery options:
A discectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of material that is pushing on the spinal cord or nerve root. It is commonly performed to treat conditions such as pinched nerves (nerve root compression), sciatica, bone spurs, and radiculopathy. These conditions can cause pain that radiates through the limbs, and discectomy is an effective treatment option for alleviating these symptoms.
Surgeons perform minimally invasive discectomies by using specialized retractors and either an endoscope or microscope to remove the herniated disc. This approach allows for faster patient recovery as it involves fewer incisions. Following the procedure, patients can typically return home after a few hours. These general anesthetic procedures usually take no more than one hour to complete.
Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
The goal of an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) procedure is to alleviate discomfort and decompress the spine by removing the disc from the front of the neck. To ensure stability, this operation is combined with a fusion surgery. The treatment for degenerative disc disease and herniated discs often involves ACDF.
The process known as foraminotomy involves opening up the foramen, or the back tunnel, through which nerve roots exit the spinal canal. This procedure aims to alleviate the signs and symptoms of nerve root compression, commonly referred to as "radiculopathy" or "pinched nerve." These signs and symptoms can include muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, or pain. Additionally, there is the option of performing this treatment in a minimally invasive manner, eliminating the need for hospitalization.
Foraminotomy helps treat the following conditions:
- Disc herniation.
- Foraminal stenosis.
- Compression of the nerve root, or pinched nerve.
- Radiculopathy of the bone spurs.
A laminectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the lamina, which is the protective covering of the spinal canal located at the back of the vertebra. This procedure is performed to alleviate pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve caused by conditions such as herniated discs, bone spurs, or lumbar stenosis.
Minimally invasive spine surgery enables the performance of laminectomy at any level of the spine. Patients with single-level or two-level lumbar spine stenosis are usually discharged on the day of the operation. Laminectomy is a viable treatment option for herniated discs, degenerative disc degeneration, and spinal stenosis.
The procedure known as spinal fusion involves the permanent joining of two or more spine bones so that they cannot move independently. During this procedure, the surgeon applies a graft to connect the bones.
Graft material comes in various forms. Strips of bone, either from the surgical site or another part of your body such as the pelvic bone, can be used to create an autograft. Alternatively, a bone bank can supply cadaver bone for an allograft. Synthetic materials can also be utilized to create grafts.
Spine fusion surgery can be approached from the front, side, or back. Thanks to recent technical developments, it is now possible to perform fusion surgery using less invasive methods in certain situations.
One approach to maintaining stability in specific segments of the spine following spinal fusion surgery is by utilizing spinal instrumentation. This involves the insertion of screws and rods into the spine, which helps ensure proper alignment during the healing and fusion process of the bone graft. These minimally invasive screw insertion techniques, when combined with other fusion methods, enable surgeons to effectively address spine issues with minimal disruption to healthy tissue.
A corpectomy is a common surgical procedure performed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. It involves the removal of all or a portion of a vertebra to alleviate pressure in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-back), or lumbar (lower back) vertebrae caused by conditions such as stenosis, bone spurs, fractures, spinal tumors, or infections.
The center section of the bone, as well as the discs above and below the affected vertebra, is removed. Once the damaged elements have been removed, a metal prosthesis or bone graft is typically implanted to ensure the stability of the spine.
Removal of the Synovial Cyst
During this operation, the surgeon removes the synovial cyst and any other structures that are causing nerve compression. Our surgeons utilize minimally invasive techniques to perform these outpatient procedures, often eliminating the need for fusion surgery.
Implanting a Spinal Cord Stimulator
A spinal cord stimulator implantation involves the placement of a tiny pulse generator into the spine. This innovative procedure offers patients relief from chronic pain by electrically stimulating the spinal cord. Through low voltage stimulation of the spinal nerves, it effectively inhibits pain and provides a tingling sensation in the back.
This procedure can be used to treat the following conditions:
- Symptoms of failed back surgery.
- Persistent discomfort.
Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty
This type of minimally invasive surgical treatment utilizes cobalt-chromium discs with a polyethylene plastic core. It is considered a superior option to fusion because it preserves mobility and reduces the risk of significant progressive degeneration in the adjacent segments above and below the affected disc.
This surgical method reduces the need for follow-up procedures because it only requires a single, tiny incision between the lower muscles of the abdomen to access the spine. Unlike procedures that require entry through the back and involve cutting through muscles and tissue, this method is more efficient and minimizes the need for additional interventions.
After the new disc is linked to the bone, the patient typically stays in the hospital for two to three days. They are then advised to engage in mild activities only for four to six weeks. After this initial recovery period, they are cleared to gradually resume more strenuous physical activity after three months.
The removal of tumors, whether benign or malignant, from the spine through surgical excision is commonly referred to as tumor resection.
When to Consider Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The majority of individuals suffering from back pain will not require surgery. However, if alternative therapies like physical therapy or medication do not effectively address your back condition, your doctor can recommend spinal cord surgery.
Spine surgery can be considered a potential solution if other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful in relieving your severe discomfort. However, not all back issues can be resolved through spinal cord surgery. Your physician will only recommend surgery if it is deemed beneficial for your specific medical condition.
The following are some of the spinal issues:
- Disc herniation.
- Spinal abnormalities.
- Narrowing of the spinal canal.
- Spinal stenosis.
- Instability of the spine.
- Fractured backbone.
- Spinal infection.
- Spinal tumor removal.
If you're considering spine surgery, consult your physician to determine if an Arizona minimally invasive spine surgery is the ideal option for you. It is worth noting that the minimally invasive approach cannot be suitable for all spinal cord procedures. Additionally, not all surgical facilities, including hospitals, have the necessary tools to perform MISS.
Getting Ready for The Surgery
Before undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery, you should follow these steps:
- Ensure that your surgeon reviews any medication you are taking in the days leading up to your procedure. Herbal remedies and unnecessary pharmaceuticals can potentially cause negative reactions when combined with anesthetics and other prescribed medications, so it could be necessary to discontinue their use.
- If you smoke, it's important to give it up. Seek advice from your physician, as they can guide you through available programs and medications that can assist you in quitting smoking.
- To maintain good physical fitness and muscle health, it is important to engage in regular exercise. This will not only keep your body in shape but also facilitate a quicker recovery.
- Your surgeon will require an MRI or X-ray of your spine. Both before and after the procedure, you will receive antibiotics to prevent infections. Your doctor will provide instructions on what to eat and drink the night after the procedure.
What to Expect From an Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The anesthesia used by your surgeon can be either general or regional. General anesthesia will put you to sleep throughout the surgery, while regional anesthesia will numb the specific area around the spine.
As mentioned earlier, there are several less invasive techniques available. One common feature among all of these techniques is that instead of making a single, lengthy incision, the surgeon will make one or more small incisions in the skin. These incisions can be made in the chest, belly, or back.
To determine the appropriate location for an incision, your surgeon can utilize an endoscope or a fluoroscope. An endoscope is a slender, telescope-like tool that is equipped with a small camera. It provides a visual representation of the interior of your spine, which is displayed on a television screen in the surgical room.
Additionally, during the surgery, a portable x-ray device known as a fluoroscope provides real-time images of the spine. The surgeon inserts tubular retractors or the endoscope into the incisions to facilitate the passage of small surgical instruments.
The term "tubular retractors" refers to thin, hollow tubes that create microsurgical tunnels from the skin's opening to the desired location on the spinal cord. Surgeons use these retractors to insert equipment and remove bone and spinal tissue that were extracted during the surgical operation.
Retractors play a crucial role in surgical procedures by keeping muscles away from the surgical site, preventing any interference. Once the surgeon removes the retractors, your muscles will naturally return to their normal position. After the operation, the surgeon will cover the incisions with surgical tape, and tiny bandages, or secure them with stitches, glue, or staples.
Recovering From an Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
When compared to traditional open surgery, Arizona minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) offers several advantages. It results in less discomfort, a shorter recovery time, a reduced hospital stay, faster healing, and a quicker return to normal activities and employment.
Patients who have undergone minimally invasive spine surgery typically spend 3 to 5 days in the hospital. However, the recovery time varies for each individual and is influenced by factors such as age, overall health, experience of the surgical team, complexity of the treatment, and the specific spinal condition being addressed. The recovery process can take several months before the patient fully recovers from the surgery. To get a clear understanding of your anticipated recovery time, it is best to consult with your surgeon.
To aid in your speedy recovery and regain your strength, your physician can recommend physiotherapy. It is important to attend all check-up appointments with your Arizona minimally invasive spine surgery team after the operation. The surgical team will assess your progress and address any concerns or questions you may have.
Find an Arizona Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Facility Near Me
The results of spine surgery can have a lasting effect on your life. Therefore, it’s crucial to seek the expertise of a qualified surgeon. At LAMIS Institute, we have an Arizona minimally invasive spine surgery team that is dedicated to providing quality services and utilizing advanced spine surgery treatments to achieve the best possible outcome for your specific condition. If you or a loved one is experiencing discomfort, infections, or other spinal issues, you can call us today at 310-734-6088.