What Makes Minimally Invasive Spinal Surgery Different?
Chronic pain from spinal conditions does not always respond to treatments such as medication and physical therapy. When non-surgical options don't work, they can ultimately lower a patient's quality of life. In these cases, spinal surgery might offer a better chance at relief. Minimally invasive surgery provides several benefits compared to traditional open surgery.
Minimally Invasive Procedures
Minimally invasive procedures involve making small incisions in order to reach the affected area. Spinal surgeons insert tiny instruments and a camera into these incisions to remove damaged tissue and make repairs as needed. The camera allows them to see inside the surgical site and move the instruments around. Traditional open surgery involves making a much larger incision to remove damaged tissue and repair the affected spinal structures. Minimally invasive techniques offer important advantages that make them safer for patients overall.
All surgical procedures come with certain risks. However, minimally invasive procedures have fewer risks than open surgery. Patients who undergo minimally invasive spinal surgery have a lower risk of infection and other risks, such as excess bleeding. The risk of damage to the surrounding tissue and ligaments in the area is also lower, which improves the chance of returning to normal function rather than having to continue limiting or avoiding certain activities. With open surgery, there’s a higher risk of damage to tissue, nerves and other structures in the surgical area. This can end up preventing patients from experiencing normal function after surgery. The rates of infection, bleeding and other risks are also higher for open surgery.
Faster Recovery Times
Minimally invasive procedures have a faster recovery time than open surgery. Patients who undergo these procedures typically stay in the hospital for a shorter period of time and are able to build up their muscle strength and flexibility faster during recovery. Patients who undergo open surgery usually face longer hospital stays and closer observation, since there are higher risks of severe complications. After leaving the hospital, patients who have had open surgery usually face a longer time doing physical therapy and making a full recovery.
Since minimally invasive procedures involve making smaller incisions in specific areas, they are typically more precise. This leads to outcomes that are equal or even better than outcomes from open surgery. Patients should keep in mind that the outcome of their particular procedure depends on what type it is and how severe their condition is.
If you need more information about minimally invasive spinal surgery, please contact us at Capital City Neurosurgery to schedule an appointment. Dr. Kelly Kiehm will evaluate your condition and determine the most suitable procedure for you based on the pain you're experiencing and other treatments previously attempted.