Spine technology has come a long way in a relatively short period of time, resulting in more options available to patients considering surgery as an option. The general trend is towards minimally invasive spine surgeries that reduce complication risks and recovery times. While some technology comes and goes, there are a handful of innovations in spine surgery that appear to be here to stay.
Cervical Artificial Disc Replacement
An alternative to an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, cervical artificial disc replacement eliminates the need for spine fusion surgery by replacing the damaged disc with a man-made version. The FDA recently approved use of this technique for 2-level procedures, meaning more patients now have a less-invasive option to relieve neck pain due to nerve compression from a herniated disc.
Minimally Invasive Sacroiliac Joint Fusion
Meant to resolve pain stemming from joints located on each side of the triangle-shaped bone that connects the lower spine to the pelvis, a minimally invasive sacroiliac joint fusion allows for access to the problem joints with fewer incisions. The procedure is gaining increased acceptance as a remedy for sacroiliac joint dysfunction, with the iFuse Implant System being one of the newer devices used by some medical facilities during this type of surgery.
Performed to treat painful vertebra fractures, vertebral augmentation is widely considered to be a reliable procedure. Patients typically have a choice of a vertebroplasty, an outpatient procedure where bone cement is injected into the fractured parts of the spine, or a kyphoplasty, where a surgical balloon is used to re-position the fractured parts of the spine.
Thanks to improvements with surgical techniques, more patients are seeing fewer complications and less post-operative pain with traditional fusion surgery. Doctors can also offer more bone graft options and even the hardware–screws, interbody cages–used is of better quality.
Regardless of medical improvements, it’s essential for patients to have an accurate diagnosis of their condition or no surgery will be entirely successful. It’s just as important to choose a spine surgeon familiar with newer methods to determine if you’re a candidate for such procedures.
Learn more about your options for pain relief by calling The Spine Institute Center at (310) 828-7757 and scheduling an in-person consultation. The path to a pain-free life begins here.