Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery
A Revolutionary Way of Treatments
Most people who are considering surgery would prefer a minimally invasive procedure but very few actually understand what this means. Minimally invasive does not refer to a specific procedure. Rather, it is more properly described as a philosophy. In order to understand this approach, it’s important to understand the traditional method of spine surgery and compare it with this newer more effective method.
Traditional Spine Surgery
Increased Recovery Time
Large Incisions (5 in+)
Higher Infection Risk
Longer Hospital Stay
When approaching surgery, the traditional technique was to make a large incision with wide exposure to allow for complete visualization of the anatomy. This way surgeons could be comfortable that they were operating in the right area and doing the right procedure. Unfortunately, this required large incisions extensive dissection and subsequently damage that issues. This increases recovery time increases the risk of infection increases surgical time ultimately this leads to increased length of stay in the hospital and increased risks of peri-operative complications.
Minimally Invasive Surgery Today
Quicker at-Home Recovery
As we have gained a better understanding of surgical anatomy and with greater availability of resources such as image guidance and improve surgical instruments such as arthroscopes and specialized retractors we have been able to greatly reduce the size of surgical incisions. ultimately the goal is to accomplish the same procedure with minimizing collateral damage. In this way a lumbar Fusion that traditionally would have been done with the 5 or 6 inch scission in a surgery that lasted 3 to 4 hours and may have had blood loss that was significant enough to require a transfusion, can now be done through 2 small incisions less than an inch in length with tissue spreading techniques that minimize muscle damage.
Minimally Invasive surgery can accomplish the same decompression and stabilization of the spine. In a skilled physician’s hands, the surgery will take less time than the old method of open procedure. Additional equipment and significant training and experience are required which is why true minimally invasive spine surgery continues to only be done by a few surgeons.
Recent Blogs on Minimally Invasive Treatments
The best sleeping position to reduce your back pain after surgery is either on your back with your knees bent and a pillow under your knees or on your side with your knees bent and a pillow between your legs. If side sleeping provides the most benefit, then make sure...
If other non-surgical treatments haven’t reduced your symptoms, your doctor could recommend surgical treatment. Surgery can relieve pressure on your spinal cord and stabilize parts of your spinal segment that may be causing pain. Depending on the condition, location,...
Stenosis is the abnormal narrowing of a passage in your body, therefore spinal stenosis is the narrowing of your spinal canal (central stenosis) or nerve root canal (lateral stenosis). Because your spinal canal houses the spinal cord, this narrowing affects your...
Recovery from surgery takes time and each person recovers at a different pace. After spine surgery, you can expect your back to feel stiff and sore. You will also likely feel tired and fatigued for several weeks. You may have trouble sitting or standing in one...
Once you have decided to have spine surgery, there are a number of preparations that follow. Pre-Operative Evaluation During the physical exam before surgery you might expect a blood test, electrocardiogram (EKG), and chest X-ray. Your doctor will also discuss...
After a cervical disc replacement procedure, do everything you can to allow your body to heal in the best way possible. Keep the following checklist in mind. Pain Medication Tylenol may be recommended for pain. Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen...
For most patients, the evaluation of spinal stenosis begins with a comprehensive physical and neurological examination followed by confirmatory imaging tests (An X-ray or MRI scan). The tests provide valuable information about the cause of your spinal stenosis and...
The exact cause of spondylolisthesis is unknown, although certain risk factors have been identified. Fractures When you fracture your spine, vertebrae are more likely to become unstable and slip onto the vertebrae below. Overuse The injury most often occurs in...
If surgery is the recommended route to treat your condition and back pain, be sure to follow your doctor’s guidelines pre and post-op. Before your spine surgery, your doctor may ask you to do a number of things to help make the procedure go smoothly and help your body...
Spine surgery is traditionally an open surgery. This means the area being operated on is opened with a long incision to allow the surgeon to view and access the surgical site. In recent years, technological advances have allowed more back and neck conditions to be...
"My husband, Mom and I have been patients of Dr. Huffman’s for quite a number of years. The BEST spine surgeon in the county! He has operated on me twice in the past year with amazing results. Would highly recommend this gifted man."
- Vivian B., Facebook Review
"I have been a patient of Dr Huffman's for many years, with some major back issues. The care I received (and still receive) is exemplary. Staff members Sarah and Dawn are amazing. I wouldn't go anywhere else."
- Deborah N., Facebook Review
"Dr. Huffman is by far the best spine surgeon for so many reasons. I have worked for him, with him and been apart of his surgeries with assisted fluoroscopy. He is brilliant, dedicated and really cares about his patients. That said why would anyone go anywhere else. Did I mention he loves gummy bears, who doesn't love that."
- Sheila B., Facebook Review
Book a Consultation
Now offering Telemedicine appointments (Virtual Visits)
You can now see our specialists from the comfort of your own home via cell phone, tablet, or computer. You will sit in front of a camera where you will be able to see yourself and your Health Care Provider on the screen once your session begins. Our Telemedicine appointments are HIPPA compliant. Most insurances are now covering Telemedicine.
Fill out our intake form to start scheduling your appointment so we can set up your visit: