Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Science & Technology Behind Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally-invasive spine surgery is a type of surgery that minimizes damages of soft tissue such as muscles. Minimally-invasive spine surgery is always less risky and less invasive option when compared to the traditional open spinal surgery.


Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery
Shown here is Dr. Joshua Rovner, a reputable New Jersey
spine surgeon and advocate of minimally-invasive spine surgery.
In most cases, minimally-invasive spine surgery often uses a thin, lighted tube whenever one put through a small incision or cut during a surgery. In the medical industry today, spinal surgeons use it when finding problems like cysts, adhesions, fibroids and severe infections.

Many spine and orthopedic surgeons often used advanced procedure of minimally-invasive spine surgery that can be performed exclusively via one single entry point – that means using only one single small incision. In some cases, you can call it as Single Site Laparoscopy. Minimally-invasive spine surgery always has many advantages over open traditional procedures that has made it one of the most recommended surgery techniques that are quickly becoming adopted by the top orthopedic spine surgeons, like Dr. Joshua Rovner of New Jersey (shown in the image above).

The Primary Goals Behind Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery?

Here are the two main goals of minimally-invasive spine surgery:
  • Decompression - Minimally-invasive spine surgery is used when taking pressure off (or when decompressing) your nerve roots or spinal cord during surgery. The pressure can sometimes cause severe pain and pinched nerves. The goal of minimally-invasive spine surgery procedure is always to relieve the pressure at the same time reducing pain of a patient during surgery.
  • Stabilization - In some cases, mobile segment can be one source of abnormal movement or pains in the body after a surgery. When this does happens, surgery stabilization may be needed. Minimally-invasive spine surgery is typically a good fusion, which is done with more instrumentation. Orthopedic surgeons often use it these cases to reduce the severe pain and tissues damage.

Top 3 Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery Techniques

The three main minimally-invasive spine surgery techniques include the following:

1. Mini-Open Spine Surgery

Mini-open spine surgery is less similar to the traditional open procedure and has fewer risks, like less loss of blood during and after surgery and less infection risks since incision is smaller. Many advances in visualization in medical field today have made possible to have mini-open surgical procedures.


2. Tubular Spine Surgery

Tubular spine surgery involves use of a tubular retractor that acts as a tunnel, which passes through muscles of the back to access spine. Minimally-invasive spine surgery using a tubular retractor is usually called "muscle-splitting" approach. When you compare it to the open spine surgery, it has less blood loss and muscle damage when using this tubular retractor.


3. Endoscopic Spine Surgery

Endoscopic spine surgery uses a very tiny video camera known as an endoscope—that is much smaller compared to a dime—when passing through very small surgical incisions (often less than 1.5 cm) as a way to access a spine. Many neurological surgeons commonly refer to the procedure as "keyhole surgery" since endoscope will always guide surgeon by showing them a view of internal body on the screens in an operating room.


These three types of minimally-invasive spine surgery can be used in various spine surgeries, such as foraminotomy, discectomy, and laminectomy and a laminotomy. Sometimes a orthopedic surgeon can use fluoroscope during minimally-invasive spine surgery since fluoroscopes have X-rays that can guide them during the procedure.

In conclusion, the above is a review of the science and technology behind minimally-invasive spine surgery that patients should know.

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