Does a chronic backache prevent you from leading a pain-free life? Have spinal exercises and medication been of no use? If yes, maybe it’s time you considered a spinal surgery.
Spinal surgery is performed in order to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. Various conditions like spinal stenosis, vertebral instability, herniated disk, etc., which are caused due to back injuries, poor posture or spinal tumors, can injure and weaken the spine. Sometimes, there may be a congenital defect to the spinal column, which may require surgical intervention.
The traditional treatment for chronic backache and other spinal conditions is open spine surgery. This is performed by making a long incision on the back and treating the areas affected.
Making such large incisions on the back can put your body at risk by making it vulnerable to infections, longer recovery times, and more post-surgical discomfort. One way to avoid these outcomes is to choose the Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery (MISS) instead.
How Is the MISS Performed?
The spinal column, spinal nerves and vertebrae are located deep inside the back. In order to treat them, the surgeon needs to move and shift the muscles surrounding the spinal column. Excessive movement of the muscles can make them structurally weak and incapable of effectively supporting the muscles.
The Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, with its small incision and small surgical site, ensures that the surgeon avoids damaging the muscles around the spinal column, by focusing only on the specific areas of the back that need treatment.
First, the treatment starts with the consult where the surgeon will ask you about your medical history and your specific requirements. He will then base his decisions about the anesthesia, surgical approach, and medication based on this consult.
In some situations, spinal surgery may actually not be the ideal solution for you. In that case, the surgeon will recommend alternative treatments.
During the surgery, a telescopic probe is inserted into the surgical site to navigate around the spinal column. Equipment called tubular retractors are used to keep the muscles apart, giving surgeons enough room to maneuver their instruments during the surgery. The surgeon inserts the surgical instruments into the retractor and maneuvers it gently in the body.
A microscope is used to take a closer look at the small vertebrae in your spinal column. The surgeon then proceeds to treat you according to your surgical plan, removes the retractor and closes the incision. These days, surgeons use tiny endoscope-like devices in the place of the telescopic probes, further reducing the impact the instruments have on the patient’s back.
Benefits of MISS
- It reduces the stress and damage to the muscles that hold the spinal column in place.
- It reduces the amount of blood loss that occurs during surgery.
- There are fewer surgical scars on the back.
- The risk of infection is reduced and there is less postoperative pain, discomfort, and inflammation.
- It allows for faster recovery – it takes less than six weeks to get back on your feet and back to your life.
Post-Surgery Recovery Plan
Restrict yourself to the bed for the first month. Use pillows to provide support to your back. Soak in a warm bath for an hour or two a day, as this relaxes your back muscles. When the time comes, attend physiotherapy regularly and try to include simple exercises like walking and stretches for a few minutes each day.
Avoid lifting anything and bending backward or forwards for the first two months. Take your medication regularly and visit the surgeon as advised.
Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery Can Help Improve Your Life
Interested in learning more about how MISS can help you? Contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kevin James. With his help and guidance, you’ll be on your way to a better, more comfortable life.