Shifting Trends in Spine Surgery

Alternatives to Surgical Spine Treatments

The ongoing trend towards minimally invasive outpatient techniques rather than surgeries requiring a lengthy recovery is welcome news for anyone considering spine surgery. It’s a trend built on decades of research and innovation that has resulted in better outcomes for patients.

More of a Group Effort

Spine surgeons in Beverly Hills and throughout the U.S. are showing a willingness to work with an extended group of practitioners to bridge the gap between surgery and recovery. For patients, this means greater access to specialists who provide supplemental services beyond the actual surgical procedure. Some of these supporting professionals include:

• Physical therapists
• Chiropractors
• Acupuncturists*

* While still considered “alternative treatments,” practices like acupuncture are gaining greater acceptance in the mainstream medical community.

Less Invasive Procedures

Minimally invasive procedures are making common spine surgeries like disc replacement and fusion surgery less complicated. By making smaller incisions and using more precise instruments, operating room time is reduced–translating to a reduced recovery period. Lateral lumbar inter-body fusion, for instance, is performed from the side to avoid affecting back muscles. Patients also benefit from:

• Minimal blood loss
• Reduced risk of complications
• Lower costs (compared to traditional surgery)

Artificial Discs Becoming a Viable Option

Once considered an experimental procedure, artificial disc surgery is becoming a viable option for more patients. Lumbar and cervical artificial disc replacement is meant to be an alternative to traditional fusion surgery where the affected disc is removed and replaced with an artificial disc. Unlike fusion surgery, which involves the “fusing” or joining of bones of the spine to increase stability and prevent movement, artificial disc replacement is a procedure designed to retain range of motion.

It’s becoming increasingly routine for patients to take their time and compare options before deciding which surgical option is best for them. The same is true when it comes to seeking multiple opinions, which can be especially beneficial since some surgeons may not be as familiar with newer procedures as other surgeons. These shifting trends in spine surgery mean that patients should be encouraged to ask more questions, weigh their options and become as informed as possible before making a final decision when it comes to spine surgery.

For patients looking for a trusted spine surgeon in Los Angeles, reach out to Dr. Hyun Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon familiar with the latest motion-preserving technologies. Call (310) 828-7757 today and schedule and in-person consultation.