Dunedin Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon

For most patients, back surgery is a last resort after conservative treatments fail to offer pain relief. The idea of back surgery may seem intimidating, but minimally invasive spinal surgery can get you back to normal activities in a relatively short amount of time.

Patients who are not candidates for traditional spine surgery, such as older people or those with certain health problems, are potential candidates for minimally invasive spinal surgery.  If you are suffering pain and would like to know more about minimally invasive surgery options, contact a skilled surgeon right away for a consultation. A Dunedin minimally invasive spine surgeon can ease your back pain and restore your mobility.

Traditional vs. Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery

There are many benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery over traditional, open back surgery, including:

  • Less time in the hospital
  • Less anesthesia
  • Less pain medication
  • Faster recovery
  • Less scarring
  • Fewer complications

While minimally invasive spinal surgery is less risky than traditional, open-back surgery, any type of surgery involves potential risk. Minimally invasive surgery patients have less risk of infection and blood loss compared to conventional surgery, so in that sense, it is considerably safer.

Open back surgery generally involves making at least a six-inch incision in the back, and cutting through a substantial amount of muscle. Minimally invasive spinal surgery requires making small incisions, so the resulting scars are barely noticeable.

Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Procedure

Less invasive surgery is another term for minimally invasive surgery, and that is an accurate description. The surgeon makes small incisions through the skin, using tools called tubular retractors for keeping the incision open and allowing access to the surgical site. Throughout the procedure, the surgeon is guided by an operating microscope and fluoroscope, the latter showing immediate spinal images on a screen.

The surgeon performs the operation using minute instruments accessing the spine via the tubular retractor. Any material requiring removal, such as herniated disk pieces, comes out through the retractor. Screws and other hardware enter the body through the retractor.

Once finished, the surgeon removes the tubular retractor, and the muscles go back to normal. With all this activity, the incision left behind is usually just one inch or so in size.

Conditions Treated with Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

Minimally invasive surgery is not suitable for every type of spinal issue, but it can treat many of the most common back conditions. These include:

  • Compression fractures
  • Degenerative disk disease
  • Herniated disks
  • Kyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal stenosis

How a Dunedin Minimally Invasive Spine Surgeon Can Help

Each patient is carefully evaluated prior to surgery and receives a definitive diagnosis. Minimally invasive surgery is not exploratory, so the surgeon must know exactly where the problem lies and develop a treatment plan for that particular individual.

The surgeon conducts thorough testing, including X-rays and CAT scans or MRIs. The patient’s complete medical history, including current use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, is taken.

Post-surgery, the surgeon also recommends a physical therapy regimen to help patients recover strength and get back to moving normally. That is another advantage of minimally invasive spine surgery – patients can usually start physical therapy much sooner than with traditional surgery. If you would like to know more about spinal surgery for your back condition, call a Dunedin minimally invasive spine surgeon and arrange a consultation.