Spine Surgery Specialty

Spine Surgery

What are minimally invasive surgery and microsurgery ?

Minimally invasive surgery is a type of surgery that is performed through several small incisions (less than 1 inch), or puncture sites. An endoscope (a thin, lighted tube with an attached camera) and surgical instruments are passed through these tiny incisions. The endoscope enables the surgeon to view the problem area without having to make a large incision.

By completing the operation through small incisions, the surgeon can safely work on the spine without disturbing normal tissue. As a result, patients are less likely to develop complications, recover sooner, and can quickly return to normal activities.

Which types of spinal problems can minimally invasive surgery or microsurgery help?

Herniated Disc

Patients who have a herniated disc typically complain of severe pain that runs down the leg or arm. This pain is caused by a pinched nerve. Nerve damage may cause pain, numbness, weakness, or partial paralysis.

Ruptured disc material (nucleus pulposus) in the spine is most commonly responsible for this pinched nerve. Microsurgery allows the surgeon to remove the ruptured disc material from the spinal canal using a microscope along with special small instruments. The surgery is often performed under spinal anesthesia only, and most patients leave the hospital within eight to 12 hours. Ninety-five percent of the patients report excellent pain relief after microsurgery.

Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis is a condition that results from degeneration and arthritis of the spine. Thickening of the bone and ligaments of the vertebrae narrow the spinal canal, which contains nerves. Nerve damage can produce severe pain, numbness, weakness, bowel and bladder problems, and in severe cases, partial paralysis. Patients typically feel better if they sit or lean forward.

As with herniated disc surgery, microsurgery allows the surgeon to remove the offending bone or tissue microscopically, thereby relieving the pressure on the spinal nerves and improving the patient's condition.

Spinal fusion

Spinal fusion is a process in which a number of vertebrae are "fuse," together. The surgery is performed for spinal instability, certain types of deformities (such as scoliosis), and for painful spine degeneration

The surgery eliminates painful, abnormal motion, reducing nerve irritation and increasing function in most patients. A laparoscope (a type of endoscope), special surgical instruments, and spinal cages (hollow, metal cylinders) are placed between the vertebrae through puncture incisions in the abdomen to fuse the spine.

Spinal deformity

Spinal deformities such as scoliosis (curvature of the spine), kyphosis (hump back), fractures, and tumors require major surgical procedures from two approaches: the front and the back. Today, surgeons can use minimally invasive surgery techniques to work on the front and back simultaneously, in many cases eliminating the need for two separate surgeries. This approach has proven to be safer, to have fewer complications, to allow quicker recovery, and to be more cost-effective than traditional surgical approaches.