The idea of undergoing a neck or back surgical procedure can be dreadful. It is sensible, especially if you are unaware of the latest advancements in Washington minimally invasive spine surgery options. There is a trend towards less localized trauma to your perineural tissues and tinier incisions, shortening hospital stays and improving clinical results. Ideal for treating cervical and lumbar health conditions like disc ruptures, the approach builds upon and supplements conventional surgical methods. LAMIS, a Los Angeles seasoned neuro-interventional surgical practice, is dedicated to your well-being and health. We have prepared this article to help you understand the various procedures, recovery duration, risks and benefits, and how to prepare for your treatment.
Ideal Candidates for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Treatments
Back pain surgery is the last resort, and your healthcare provider could recommend a surgical procedure if you have a back or neck issue that has not improved with other treatments and strategies like:
- Occupational therapy.
- Medication, like anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and tranquilizers.
- Physical therapy, physical rehabilitation, or both.
- Losing weight if you are overweight.
- Using assistive devices like mechanical back support.
- Quitting smoking.
Some of the conditions your doctor can treat with minimally invasive spine surgery include the following:
- Spinal stenosis (spinal cord narrowing).
- Herniated disc.
- Spinal instability.
- Spinal deformities.
- Removing a tumor in your spine.
- Infections in your spine.
- Fractured vertebra.
Not all patients qualify for a minimally invasive approach. There are particular signs and indicators for these procedures, namely:
- When it functions best.
- When a doctor should not perform it from a safety perspective.
Your Washington minimally invasive spine surgery expert should customize every treatment depending on your needs and technique. Nevertheless, before considering surgery, your physician can decide during your medical evaluation that they should first try other treatment options.
Risks Associated With Surgery
Like all surgical procedures, there are specific risks, including the following:
- Reaction to anesthesia.
- Blood clots in the legs that can travel to your lungs.
- Infection at your surgery site.
- Blood loss.
- Pneumonia following the procedure.
- Damage to neighboring tissues.
- Injuries to your spinal cord or nerve can lead to paralysis or pain.
Your Washington minimally invasive spine surgeon should discuss your surgery in detail and address all your concerns and questions.
Preparing for Your Washington Minimally Invasive Spine Treatment
To prepare for your treatment:
- Stop smoking if you are a smoker; smoking inhibits recovery. Please consider consulting your skilled Washington minimally invasive spine surgery specialist if you need help quitting.
- Exercise regularly to maintain your muscles and body in shape and shorten your healing duration.
- Tell your physician about your medications, including over-the-counter medicines. You might be required to stop using specific drugs before the surgery, like blood thinners.
- Do not drink or eat after midnight before the treatment. Ensure you tell your physician about recent changes in your health, like a fever.
Your surgeon will request imaging tests of your neck and spine. They can include magnetic resonance imaging and X-rays.
Various Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery/Treatment Options
Some of the surgeries the knowledgeable and qualified team at LAMIS offers include the following:
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
The objective of minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is to stabilize vertebral bones and spinal joints or relieve excessive pressure on the spinal nerves caused by medical conditions like bone spurs, spinal instability, herniated discs, spinal tumors, or scoliosis.
In contrast with open spinal surgery, MISS approaches are faster and require less time to recover. Due to the reduced trauma on the soft muscles and other muscles, the possible benefits include the following:
- Loss of minimal blood through surgery.
- Quicker recovery following surgery and need for minimal rehabilitation.
- Satisfactory cosmetic results through tiny skin incisions (they can be as little as a few millimeters).
- Reduced dependence on pain relievers after surgery.
- Diminished risk of infections and postoperative pain.
- Lower risk of damage to your muscles due to fewer or no incisions in your muscles (Physicians use specialized tools to hold neighboring tissues out of the way to avoid cutting your muscles unnecessarily. They can also use a laser to perform the surgery.).
Additionally, some MISS surgeries are outpatient and only require local anesthesia, reducing the risk of unpleasant reactions to the anesthesia.
As with any surgical procedure, regardless of how small, certain risks are always present, including unpredicted loss of blood in the medical procedure, a potential negative reaction to the anesthesia, and infections, regardless of the size of the surgical wound. Sometimes, the MISS procedure requires a second operation or an open surgery.
Discectomy Surgical Procedure
A discectomy is a surgery conducted on patients to alleviate pain resulting from ruptured or slipped discs. Discs separate the spinal bones in the vertebral column. Every disc has a nucleus (a hard exterior layer encompassing a jelly-like matter).
A slipped disc happens when the nucleus is forced through a weakened section of the disc’s outer layer. Your ruptured disc fragments could apply pressure to surrounding nerves, leading to symptoms like neck or lower back pain, weakness or tingling in the arm or leg muscles, and leg pain. Patients experiencing a herniated disc get better with conventional treatment like medications, physical therapy, steroid injections, and exercises. Nevertheless, your surgeon can recommend a discectomy if you have enduring, severe, and persistent pain.
A discectomy can also be conducted as part of spondylitis treatment if:
- If you need stabilization medical procedures as part of your scoliosis treatment or.
- The ailment causes spinal deformity.
During this surgical procedure, your doctor will remove an entire disc or fragments of your disc. Depending on your disc problem, a doctor can suggest one of two surgical options:
- Open discectomy — Surgeons perform it using general anesthesia via surgical incisions on the back. The physician removes a tiny amount of bone and ligaments from the spine’s back to access your spinal nerves. They will also remove fragments and other splinters that could lead to future challenges upon finding the herniated disc.
- A minimally invasive discectomy is ideal for only a few patients. During this medical procedure, the doctor utilizes a camera and special equipment to remove a herniated disc by carrying out tiny incisions. A minimally invasive discectomy has the same outcomes as an open discectomy, with diminished pain and enhanced recovery time.
Laminectomy is a medical procedure in which a doctor takes out a section or the whole lamina (vertebral bone). The Washington minimally invasive spine surgery technique lowers constraints on the nerve roots or spinal cord that might be due to injury, tumors, narrowing of the canal (spinal stenosis), or a herniated disc.
When to Consider Laminectomy Surgery
Lower neck or back pain can go from dull, mild, and irritating to persistent, serious, and incapacitating. Pain within the spine can limit your mobility and ability to function. Laminectomy is performed to treat disc ailments, reduce pressure on your spinal nerves, or extract a tumor lodged in the spine.
A disc could be damaged or displaced due to wear and tear or injury. As the disc squeezes against the spinal nerves, this leads to pain and sometimes weakness or numbness. The weakness and numbness are felt in your body where the nerves are connected, primarily in the legs or arms.
The prevailing indication of a herniated disc is sciatica, a sharp, piercing pain in the sciatic nerve going from the buttocks to the thigh and down the back of the leg.
Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty
Lumbar disc arthroplasty (artificial disc replacement) replaces an impaired vertebral disc with a constructed disc.
An artificial disc reinforces the vertebra, allowing forward and backward bending, side-to-side motion, and turning. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves manufactured discs. Generally, they are made from metals like cobalt or titanium, and sometimes plastics like polyurethane or polyethylene.
When a Lumbar Disc Arthroplasty is Conducted
The backbone (vertebral column) is composed of 33 vertebrae. A cushion known as a disc is in the middle of every pair of vertebrae. Genetics, age, and daily wearing-off can cause disc damage, herniation, or degeneration. Disc herniation can cause pain, numbness, and weakness that can spread into your shoulders and arms.
Most patients with herniated or degenerated discs react well to non-operative treatment like injections, physical therapy, and neck braces. These medical measures effectively alleviate symptoms and prevent the risks associated with any type of surgery. Nonetheless, your doctor can recommend arthroplasty if you suffer from serious arm or neck pain or if your non-operative treatment fails to offer symptom relief.
The suitable patients for arthroplasty are youthful patients with single disc herniation and normal spinal movement at the level disc. Replacing several discs is also possible in other patients. However, older people with bone spurs, severe arthritis, and restricted mobility around the disc level are not eligible for arthroplasty.
Spinal fusion is a medical procedure to rectify problems with little bones in the spine (vertebrae). It is similar to a welding activity. The general goal is to combine several vertebrae to make them heal into one firm bone. The procedure seeks to restore stability in the spine or eliminate painful movement.
Spinal surgery is recommended if your physician can locate the root of your pain. Your physician could use imaging tests like X-rays, computed tomography (ICT) scans, and MRI to achieve this.
Kyphoplasty is a medical procedure for treating breaks or fractures within the vertebrae (bones in the back sitting on top of each other to form your spine). The spine supports weight, helps in movement, and safeguards your nerves and spinal cord.
Kyphoplasty is discussed along with another medical procedure known as vertebroplasty. Initially, the surgeon inflates one or several devices similar to ballons into the broken vertebra to restore the original height of the vertebra. The balloons are then removed or kept in place within the vertebra. Then the doctor injects a material similar to cement into the gap formed by the balloons. During vertebroplasty, ballons are not part of the surgical procedure. Instead, the doctor injects a material similar to cement into the broken vertebra to stabilize it.
When to Undergo a Kyphoplasty
You might require a kyphoplasty when you have broken bones or fractures in the vertebrae. Thinning of the bones (osteoporosis), accidents, or cancer can cause fractured bones in your vertebrae, causing bones to collapse or be compressed. The fractures can lead to nerve damage, pain, or a hunched posture (kyphosis).
Kyphoplasty can make the bone longer, restoring its lost height after compression and eliminating pain.
Usually, a surgeon will conduct a kyphoplasty following the failure of other medical treatments. These include limiting activity, wearing a back brace, or taking pain medication for six to twelve weeks.
Other Washington minimally invasive spine surgery options include the following:
- Spinal cord stimulator implantation.
- Intradiscal electrothermal therapy (IDET).
- Anterior cervical diskectomy and fusion.
- Stem cell therapy.
Recovery After a Washington Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
Most minimally invasive spine procedures have reduced hospital admission days. Patients can return home immediately or after a few days. The hospital admission duration varies with patients. Patients who undergo conventional operations can remain in the health facility for about five days.
Also, postoperative pain following a minimally invasive spine procedure is lower in contrast with pain during traditional open surgery. While you could feel uneasy due to the latest pain control advancements, most seasoned Washington minimally invasive spine surgery specialists can quickly relieve and manage your pain.
Based on the medical procedure and overall health, your physician can suggest physical therapy to recover strength and accelerate healing. You should undertake specific exercises to resume your daily routine and be strong. If you had a spinal fusion, it can take months before your bone is robust again, and your fused spine should remain in the right alignment during your restorative period. Your surgeon should train you to stand, sit, reposition, and walk properly.
Additionally, you should make a follow-up visit to your physician. Your physician will assess and monitor your recovery during the appointment.
While some of the most significant benefits of minimally invasive spine treatment are streamlined recovery duration and reduced risk of complications, it is still wise for you to adhere to your post-operative instructions from your doctor to ensure optimal results.
Contact a Skilled and Experienced Cervical and Lumbar Surgeon Near Me
Suppose you have chronic neck or back pain that does not respond to traditional treatments like medication and physical therapy. In that case, minimally invasive spine surgery may be the answer. Unlike open spine surgery, your Washington surgeon will use specialized tools that hold neighboring tissues out of the way to avoid unnecessarily cutting your muscles. Sometimes, they can use a laser to perform the surgery. While the specifics of every surgical procedure vary, the focus is on shortened hospital stays, reduced pain, less scarring, excellent outcomes, and comfort.
LAMIS is a seasoned leader in spine care. With the help of state-of-the-art robotic technologies and a spinal navigation system, our qualified surgeons can help you find relief from your chronic back and neck pain and realize your best quality of life. Once you visit our practice, we can review and discuss your health history to determine the best treatment option. Do not live with pain when we can help. Please call us at 310-734-6088 to schedule your appointment and learn about our services.