Minimally invasive spine surgery involves the use of innovative techniques that allow surgeons to perform procedures on the spinal column without having to make a large incision. The less-invasive procedure is generally safer than conventional surgery because it exposes the patient to minimal trauma and requires a shorter recovery time.
During traditional, open surgical spinal procedures, the surgeon usually makes an incision that is approximately six inches long in order to be able to visualize and reach the target area. Minimally invasive surgeries require only a small incision to allow the insertion of a specialized tube that is about an inch or less in diameter. The tube enables the physician to view the damaged area and insert small tools through the device, which are used to repair the spine. A smaller incision is less likely to become infected and expose surrounding tissues to pathogens.
Normally, spine surgery requires a large incision that is pulled open with retractors so that the surgeon can see and reach the area to be repaired. The retractors can cause trauma to the muscles and surrounding tissues that will also need time to heal along with the surgical site.
Minimally invasive spine surgery is generally safer than open surgery because it usually results in less pain. Patients who are more comfortable after surgery are able to move more freely after the procedure, which decreases the occurrence of post-operative pneumonia and other complications. They are also able to participate more fully in physical therapy exercises that enhance the recovery process.
Patients enjoy a faster recovery time after minimally invasive surgery, which makes them less susceptible to the complications that are experienced after open procedures. Recovery from minimally invasive procedures lasts about half the time that is usually required after traditional operations.
For more information about options for minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to the experienced and professional Santa Monica spine surgeons at The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration and schedule an in-person consultation. Simply dial 310-828-7757 – we’re here to help.