5 Minimally Invasive Surgery FAQ’s to Ask Your Spine Specialist
Minimally invasive spine surgery (MISS) is an exciting alternative to traditional spine surgery. The orthopedic surgeons at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists frequently perform MISS procedures to address a variety of issues related to the spine.
1. What is the Difference Between Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Traditional Spine Surgery?
Traditionally, spine surgery was performed as an ‘open surgery.’ When an open spine surgery is performed, the orthopedic surgeon creates a long incision (ranging from 5- to 6-inches) that allows him or her to view and access the area of the spine that is being addressed. Whereas an open spine surgery requires the creation of a long incision, a minimally invasive back surgery does not. In the majority of cases, patients who have MISS as opposed to open back surgery experience less pain and enjoy a faster recovery.
2. How Long Have Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Techniques Been Used?
Ever since the ‘90s, minimally invasive back surgery techniques have been used to address issues that cause pain. MISS procedures are used to remove portions of herniated discs and/or pieces of bone that put pressure the spinal nerve(s). Minimally invasive spine surgery techniques have also been used to correct problems related to the vertebrae (small bones of the spine). Today, the orthopedic surgeons at Southeast Orthopedic Specialists are using minimally invasive back surge
ry techniques to address a wide range of issues. If you are experiencing back and/or nerve pain, call (904) 634-0640 or click here to use the online form to schedule your initial consultation.
3. What Are the Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery?
During an open surgery procedure, in order to view the spine, the orthopedic surgeon needs to move the back muscles over to the side. This retraction of the muscles can actually damage the soft tissue and/or injure the muscle. Furthermore, retracting the muscle usually affects areas of the patient’s anatomy that are not required to complete the surgery. Thus, causing the patient to experience additional pain. While performing a MISS, the orthopedic doctor can target the problem area directly. This allows the surgeon to treat the patient’s spinal problem with less injury to his or her normal spinal structures, including the muscles. Additional benefits include spending less time in the hospital and very little concern related to excessive bleeding (due to the shorter incisions).
4. What Should I Expect During the Recovery Phase Following My Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?
Every patient is unique; however, the majority of patients can walk around relatively soon following their procedure. Moreover, a MISS is usually an outpatient procedure, which means patients return home on the same day of their surgery. Within two weeks, you should be able to return to performing light physical activities. Depending on the spinal issue that was addressed during your surgery and your overall health, you may fully recover in as little as six weeks.
5. Will I Need to Have Physical Therapy?
Yes, by performing physical therapy exercises that target the part of the spine that was addressed during surgery, you increase the blood flow to that particular area. This blood flow increase assists your body as it heals.