Surgery, even when minor, is a scary thing. From the preparation, which can stretch into the days preceding, to the ritual of paperwork and pre-op that takes place upon arrival at the surgery center, the entire process can be unfamiliar and will always be less-than-comfortable. Despite the inherent negatives of any invasive procedure, surgical methodology has progressed a tremendous amount in the last few years, which should not only provide an added sense of safety and security, but provide a new level of comfort and convenience for something that is far from either.
Spinal surgery is no exception to these stigmas. In fact, any procedure dealing with an integral aspect of bodily structure and functionality carries with it added worry. Thankfully, minimally invasive spine surgery is now not only a viable option, but also one that is readily available. Here’s what you need to know before you choose this cutting edge surgical option!
With the progression of surgical technology and techniques, the application of minimally invasive spine surgery is wide-reaching. That being said, surgery should always be a last resort, regardless of how intensive it is. Only when non-surgical options have repeatedly failed to improve your condition should you consider spine surgery. Further, no surgical procedure is one-size-fits-all. You should work closely with your doctor and surgeon to ensure that the route chosen is individualized for your specific situation!
Some common conditions treated with minimally invasive spine surgery include herniated discs, spinal fractures, and degenerative disc disease, among others.
What Are the Advantages?
When people think of surgery, they sometimes are haunted by thoughts of unsightly scars tainting their beach bodies. Beachgoers everywhere—celebrate! Minimally invasive surgery also means minimal incisions, which is great if you’re concerned about appearances. The true benefit of these smaller incisions, however, lies beneath the skin. The less invasive a procedure, the less likely the surrounding muscle and tissue will be damaged, which means the less likelihood of pain and higher chance of faster recovery.
Accompanying the physical advantages of the minimally invasive spine surgery itself are the advantages in recovery. On average, hospital stays are cut in half compared to traditional spine surgeries. For some procedures, the patient may even be released the same day as the surgery. This ability to be released on the same day often correlates with complete recovery time as well – allowing patients to return to normal activity more quickly.
Are There Any Downsides?
There are potential downsides to any type of surgery. While minimally invasive spine surgery aims to decrease those potential downsides, there is still the possibility of complications. Further, these surgical techniques are both relatively new and highly technical – meaning they have not been as thoroughly researched long-term as more traditional surgical methods. While this is not inherently negative, it does mean there is less information available about the long-term ramifications of the procedures.
While no one wants to undergo a surgical procedure, medical professionals’ capabilities and the effectiveness of their methodologies have grown exponentially in the last decade – meaning surgery is safer, more effective, and less invasive than it has ever been. While you should embrace non-surgical techniques before embarking down a surgical path, minimally invasive spine surgery is a viable option for several back problems affecting so many people each and every day.
Schedule your appointment with Dr. Kumar today to assess your spine at the revolutionary Colorado Spine and Scoliosis!