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The difference between minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) and traditional spine surgery

The difference between minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) and traditional spine surgery

Surgery is the last recourse for neck pain or low back pain, and doctors would try out several treatment options, including lifestyle changes, to see if the issue resolves. Even if the pain is excruciating, surgeons would first reefer it to a primary care physician. He or she only would send back the patient to the surgeon who has no other option after seeing the futility of traditional pain management treatment to advise spine surgery.  

Non-surgical treatments typically work for most patients with spine problems. Only when home exercises, physical therapy, and medications and injections to the spine fail to provide pain relief that surgery becomes inevitable. Patients with extreme neurogenic pain and the ineffectiveness of other medical treatments would typically require surgical interventions. The choice is between traditional spinal surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery.

Traditional spine surgery

Any traditional surgery involves complete exposure of the anatomy, and it is the same for spine surgery. The surgeon creates large incisions around the affected part of the spine to get a complete view and easy access to the area to conduct the surgical procedure. Based on the diagnosis and the results of various tests and examinations the surgeon assesses the condition of damage and devises a plan for surgery to rectify the defects. 

When complete, stitches up the portions cut open to allow healing of the wound. At the same time, the patient recovers from the procedure. Traditional spine surgery is carried out under general anesthesia and requires extensive hospitalization as the recovery process is lengthy. It takes many weeks of rehabilitation at home to regain normalcy.

Minimally invasive spine surgery

You can gather authentic information from Dr. Juris Shibayama, a renowned expert in minimally invasive spine surgery, to know about the surgical procedure that is fast gaining popularity.  As the name suggests, this type of surgery requires minimal incision precisely done at the place of surgery to minimize injury while performing any surgical procedure on the spine.  It might be necessary to stabilize the spinal joints and vertebrae bones or to relieve the pressure created on the spinal nerves, which can happen due to herniated discs, bone spurs, spinal instability, or spinal tumors.

Since minimally invasive surgery requires drilling small holes in the body around the area under treatment, doctors use various devices, instruments, video cameras to view and reach the area where the surgery takes place. The purpose of the surgery is to cure the damage or deformity of the spine by causing the least trauma for patients while allowing surgeons greater visibility of the surgical areas with the least exposure.

Due to the minor incisions, blood loss is much less in minimally invasive spine surgery, and often the procedure takes place in an out-patient setting where the patient can go back home the same day. Even if a hospital stay is necessary, it is only for a few days instead of many weeks, as it happens with traditional surgery. The recovery time is less, as also the chances of infections.  

The fast recovery and lesser trauma, and successful outcomes are the reasons for the popularity of minimally invasive spine surgery.

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